Show of hands: Where are the repeat offenders? The ones who did something to let God down and then you did it again. And then again. And maybe again.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Is this thing on? Here. I’ll raise my hand first. Now, then. Where are the repeat offenders?
We’re in good company.
Jesus’ closest friends did it, too. He asked them to watch and pray and they fell asleep. Three times. On the eve of what would be a bloody day, their Friend was sweating the first drops of it in a garden. And they couldn’t stay awake.
When confronted, their hearts went thud just like ours do. “They did not know what to say to Him.” (Mark 14:40 NIV)
Sometimes we walk away from the Lord because we think He does that to us. We have a keen sense of our screw-up-ness and so we try to avoid the One whose love stoops low.
But we don’t really have a say. His love is a heat-seeking missile aimed at us. The Lord knows every dark spot. Every humiliating failure. Every repeat offense. Every false motive. And He bends low to love us anyway. His love never fails.
Of the three friends who failed Him in the garden that night,
+ one failed Him even further, then became the rock God built His whole church on,
+ one wrote the Gospel of John and was the friend that Jesus, in agony, entrusted His own mom to,
+ and one had a shorter separation from Jesus, his friend, than the others because he was ushered into glory—where he’d had the boldness to ask to sit next to Christ—sooner than he ever imagined.
Want more proof?
The kingdom of heaven is like a entitled son who demanded his inheritance, partied and tore through it, and limped home barefoot hoping to eat pig scraps—only to be tackle hugged by a Father who’d been watching for Him at the window all that time.
Still more proof?
Christ died for us when we were caught in the act, not when we cleaned up our act. While we were still sinners—right at the moment we reached into the liquor cabinet or opened a private internet window or lied about someone to make ourselves look good—that’s when He defeated death and everything else that’s killing us. (Romans 5:8)
Oh, okay more proof? Like Captain America, I can do this all day:
God removes our sin as far as the east is from the west. That’s Buzz Lightyear theology, because if you go east and you keep going east, you never reach west. Never. Ever. To infinity. That’s how far His sin-removal plan reaches.
Even if you’re a repeat offender.
That’s a gospel truth to head into a new week with. Our hearts can rejoice knowing we can’t out-sin God’s love.
(What proof do you have? Leave a comment below.)
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