For a while now, I’ve been asking God to help me understand the most important thing in the history of things. The cross. I mean, I have the facts down. I know the verses…some by heart. But I don’t think I really get it or my soul would stay stirred up all the live-long day.
Jesus died for me. FOR. ME. That truth should make my heart pound in my chest. It should make my face flush with emotion. It should move me.
I’m imagining right now…if someone I knew ran into a burning building to save my life. Maybe one of my sons. Or my sweet brother-in-law, Bubba. Or a complete stranger. If someone risked his life to save mine, I’d never think of him without my heart doing flip-flops. I’d never stop thinking of ways to say thank you. I’d never get over such a sacrificial act.
But Jesus DIED for me. He didn’t just put His life on the line. He put Himself on the cross. For me. For you, too.
It doesn’t matter what bad thing happens to me. It doesn’t matter how people treat me. It doesn’t matter what my circumstances are. Everything fades in the background behind the towering truth: Jesus DIED for me.
Jesus died for me…that’s the big BUT we can put behind any struggle we face to put it into proper perspective. See if any of these fit your life. Some of them fit mine. Some fit people I love.
I’m getting a divorce, BUT Jesus died for me.
I lost my job, BUT Jesus died for me.
The cancer’s back, BUT Jesus died for me.
I’m sitting in prison, BUT Jesus died for me.
I’m drowning in grief, BUT Jesus died for me.
I’m in a halfway house, BUT Jesus died for me.
My parent has a terminal disease, BUT Jesus died for me.
My best friend betrayed me, BUT Jesus died for me.
I have depression, BUT Jesus died for me.
I’m lonely, BUT Jesus died for me.
I’m battling addiction, BUT Jesus died for me.
My child is rebelling, BUT Jesus died for me.
Money’s tight, BUT Jesus died for me.
Now you try…
_________________, BUT Jesus died for me.
Friends, lots of awful happens in this life. As I write this, my heart feels utterly beaten to a bloody pulp. Lots of tears. Lots of desperate prayers. Lots of questions. Lots of decisions to make.
If I let my circumstances be in the forefront of my mind, I might not make it.
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NIV).
BUT Jesus died for me. All the yuck I’ve already been through. All the yuck I’m going through right now. All the yuck still to come…it’s all temporary. It’s all bound to this earth and the short life I’ll live on it. What Christ did for me will fly right on past my death certificate straight into eternity, which is where real life begins.
So, if you catch me whining about my lot in life, just lean over and whisper in my ear, “BUT Christ died for you!”
Pray with me?
Sometimes, I let my circumstances get too big for their britches. Ugly things I’ve done and ugly things others have done to me should never get the spotlight. The spotlight belongs to You because Jesus died for me.
No matter what happens, I will not lose heart. “Though outwardly [I am] wasting away, inwardly [I am] being renewed day-by-day. For [my] light and momentary troubles are achieving for [me] an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So [I] fix [my] eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV).
“Therefore, since [I] have been justified through faith, [I] have peace with [You] through [my] Lord Jesus Christ,through whom [I] have gained access by faith into this grace in which [I] now stand. And [I]boast in the hope of [Your glory].Not only so, but [I]also glory in [my] sufferings, because [I] know that suffering produces perseverance;perseverance, character; and character, hope.And hope does not put [me] to shame, because [Your] love has been poured out into [my heart] through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to [me]. At just the right time, when [I was] still powerless, Christ died for [ungodly me]. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.But [You demonstrate Your] own love for [me] in this: While [I was still a sinner], Christ died for me” (Romans 5:1-8 NIV).
“For Christ’s love compels [me to] “no longer live for [myself] but for him who died for [me] and was raised again” (2 Corinthians 5: 14-15 NIV).
Oh, Lord, please stamp every single one of my circumstances with the old rugged cross. No struggle, no challenge, no difficulty I could ever face can trump what Christ did for me. Nothing compares to You.
Keep me shaken and moved by Your stunning sacrifice and cause my struggles to shrink in the shadow of the cross.
In the name of Jesus who died for me I pray, AMEN
Be encouraged by the powerful message in “The Cross of Christ” by my gifted friend, Cheri Keaggy.