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Empty Cross
Photo: ©Michael Bretherton
Out of all that I have learned and have yet to learn as a Christian, I think the most intriguing and at the same time the most beautiful belief of all to me is how God can let me come to Him. Through Jesus Christ's sacrificial death and resurrection, He offers me forgiveness for my sins.

I am blown away by the mercy of God, especially considering that for Him, it's not a “three strikes and you're out” deal. You come to Him, just as you are, many times with the same sin that you committed yesterday written all over your face. He gently hears your confession and reads between the lines of your heart and makes you new. You are officially forgiven!

Yet, as simple as God's plan of redemption is, we sometimes like to make it a little more complicated. We forgive others, they forgive us, but when it's time for God to forgive us, we pull back in disbelief, as if saying “Whoa, wait a minute. It can't be that easy...” But it really is!

Blinded by Guilt

I must admit, I've struggled with this several times. Blinded by and focused only on my guilt, I quickly forget the promise that Jesus has made to me through His Word: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). What a beautiful promise! Praise God that we are made free indeed!

When I doubt that He is really able to forgive my sins and set me free as He claims He can, it's as if I was grabbing Jesus and putting Him back on the cross again! Not believing in Jesus' beautiful and cleansing power defeats the purpose He came to fulfill. But I have excellent news for you: The cross is empty! Jesus did all He had to do to make us clean, and now it's up to us to accept His loving sacrifice as atonement for our sins.

The next time you come to God to confess your sin, remember that cross on the hill. Remember that those crossed wooden beams are empty and you are saved because “it is finished”. Remember that in the name of Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb, you are made clean and whole. You are made free indeed! That's the power of an empty cross!

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By Sebastian Zaldibar. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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