A Penitent Posture
Have you been judged, criticized, labeled, treated like a nobody? You’re not alone and you’ve not been left alone!
Jesus was arrested, tried, sentenced scourged and crucified. The chief priests, scribes, and elders of the people of Israel did all they could do to separate us from Jesus. But the cross that they used to divide the world from Jesus was the same instrument that secured salvation and provided the only way God could forgive sin without compromising His holiness and perfect righteousness.
Ultimately each of us will be placed on a proverbial cross in which we can’t avoid. Failing health, relationship conflicts, choking finances, and calamity of all sorts will seek to nail you down. We’ve probably even sent a few people to the cross as well. It reminds me of a story from Luke where two criminals were sentenced and placed to hang on a cross next to Jesus — one on the left side and the other on the right (Luke 23:39–43). One of the thieves mocks Jesus. The other man sides with Jesus and asks to be remembered. Both thieves were rightly accused and, by law, subjected to punishment related to their crimes. One is remorseful and the other hardened. Guess which one Jesus remembers?
We’re all subject to be judged, criticized, labeled, and treated like a nobody. We have a proclivity to judge, criticize, label, and treat others like nobodies. There is not one of us deserving of grace yet it’s freely offered at the cross to those of us crushed enough to ask for it. You can side with the mockers and believe that there is no hope and no rescue found at the cross. Or you can place your identity in a God who chose nails and a cross as the means for our salvation. Both are risky, only one brings paradise!
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