Forgiven. - There are few things more difficult for us as Christians to deal with than our pasts. But there are also few things more wonderful.
The sins of our pasts leave wounds that do heal and some become scars, if not upon our flesh, then upon the flesh of our souls. Those scars, tender and sometimes unbearably painful, are never more real to us then when we fall broken at the feet of our Lord.
For at His feet we lie in the light of the Father and His magnificent light exposes our shame and our failings.
So we, like Adam and Eve in the Garden after they sinned, desire to hide but can find no place dark enough to escape His righteousness. Our sins are exposed and naked before God.
Lying there, we are ashamed and the serpent seeks to use that shame against us.
Satan would accuse us and remind us of how unworthy we are to be in that light. He would storm our mind with images and fears and failings for the purpose of drawing us down and away from Christ and the life our Savior offers us. He would point out to us just how broken and sinful we are for the single purpose of hurting not us, but Christ. For if that serpent can convince us of our wretchedness and steal us away from the love we see in the Lamb of God, if he can stop us from looking into that light and receiving from Christ the love God is offering to us, then the snake thinks he has wounded God through breaking us and separating us from the Father.
How often do I struggle with my past? How often do I stop myself from holding or encouraging or meeting the need of another because I have failed to look upon the Light of Life and instead could only see the scars of my past and that dirtiness which brings shame and fear?
How often do you let yourself fall victim to the regrets and sins of your past?
These failings occupy our minds too often and become a stone around our necks, pulling our eyes down to the ground.
Thankfully, even with our heads bowed so that we can only see the dusty earth, we find before us the feet of Christ. And there, we hear our Savior say to us and our accuser that we, His bride, "Is worth the blood that I spilled. Go ahead, Satan, say what you will about my bride. It matters not, for though to you she is worthless, I love her and cover her with My righteousness given Me from My Father. In me beloved you are made new."
It's then that the tears break from the prison of our past to fall upon the feet of Christ and we find ourselves cracking open the alabaster jar of ourselves upon those precious, pierced feet.
It's then that we discover that Christ covers those scars of our past, not in shame, but in love and desire to be a balm that strengthens our weaknesses turning those failures into victories found in His love and blood sacrificed.
For what can be more wonderful than the horrible actions of our pasts - those deeds in darkness, those words bitting, those failures - miraculously transformed at the feet of Christ and those sins erased in a sea of red?
In Micah we find that delightful sea:
“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry for ever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:18-19 NIV)
In Revelation we learn that the sea full of our sins will not exist one glorious and eternal day:
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea exists no more.” (Revelation 21:1 Darby)
In that eternal bliss promised to us, our scars will also cease to exist and in that place the truly magnificent glory of our God will be revealed.
While here upon this earth, the scars are not to be forgotten for they are testimonies of what Christ saved us from and post markers for where we are not to return.
For now, the Lord leaves us the scars but covers them in His righteousness so that we may learn of His power, desire to lean upon Him in our weakness, and know what it means to care for the afflictions of others. But we cannot do any of this if we focus too much on the past, too much upon the scars, not daring to look up and see to where our Lord leads and forward to the fulfillment of His promise.
So trust in the name of our Lord and rise up and stand firm. Not in our power, but in the saving power of the Lamb which takes those sins of the past, casts them from us to a distance that is as far as the east is from the west, and transforms our lives which we break upon his perfect feet.
© Hal Paxton