TODAY #9–Thank-you for the Cross, my Friend

I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake… And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.–But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Therefore…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross–so also Christ died only once as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people.  He will come again but not to deal with our sins again.  This time he will bring salvation to all those who are eagerly waiting for him.

I Jn.2:12,28 ESV; I Jn.1:7-9ESV; Heb.12:1,2ESV; Heb.9:28 NLT British ed.

“Thank-you for the Cross, my Friend”–I sang the words lately with a fresh jolt that this One who came to die on my account is now my Friend.  He died for this, accomplishing all that was needful to deal with my sin-debt, awaiting only my faith in His sufficient sacrifice.  No longer is my sin held against me no matter how poor my current track-record on this journey to glory.  By faith I can count Him my friend and not wither under His gaze as with increasing age I am made more and more aware of my decrepit human nature.  He is not my Friend because I am so worthy of His friendship.  Our relationship is based on my reliance on His worth, His sacrifice of Himself on my behalf, and His resurrection. 

Though sin’s deadly power is broken it still tries to trip me up, and in its wake I’m tempted to shrink back in shame and doubt Jesus’ friendly gaze.  But sin deceives from start to finish. It is never so potent that confession will not banish its shame.  And so I look to the Cross and live! –LS