As Christian believers, we know that no matter how great the sin, God’s proven love is greater still. We recognize and worship Him for His Goodness and Grace, especially on Easter. Yet, sometimes, because we know our specific sin and how devastatingly terrible our choices have been, we come to secretly believe in the deep recesses of our hearts and minds that while God’s love and forgiveness is sufficient for others’ sins – and even for most of our sin – it can’t possibly cover that sin. Some of you know what I mean. That sin, that private, deepest regret of our lives which we keep hidden deep in our hearts and for which we secretly believe we could not possibly be forgiven.
Friend, I have been there. Fortunately, I had a good and godly friend who looked me straight in the eye and said, “so you think Christ’s sacrifice was incomplete?” WHAT? No! Her question hit me hard. She lovingly pointed out that believing my sin was unforgivable was essentially saying that Jesus’ sacrifice was good for everyone else, but not good enough to cover my sin. That His sacrifice was incomplete, somehow lacking. And harboring unforgiveness toward myself propagated the guilt, shame, and condemnation I was feeling…which do not come from God.
I was shocked by the truth of her statements. I let it sink in. It was true. I was unconsciously believing the lie that my sin was unforgivable. My continual loathing of myself and that sin was actually a sin against the love, grace, and forgiveness of Jesus. I had to acknowledge, trust, and believe that what Paul penned in 2 Corinthians 12:9 is true. His grace is sufficient…even, and maybe especially, for that sin too.
If you have ever struggled with these same thoughts, let me be that friend to you today. Scripture says that all have sinned and all have fallen short of God’s holy standard. Despite what the culture around you may want you to think, there is no acceptable sin. All sin is a stench in God’s nostrils. No sin smells sweet. From His view (and His is the only view that matters) there is no better sin or worse sin. Every sin – yours, mine, and Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s – drove Jesus to the cross.
The enemy of your soul would have you believe that you – or at least this sin – is beyond the grasp of God’s grace. Friend, don’t you believe it. Don’t fall for that lie.
Yes, your sin is bad (that’s why it’s called sin). But don’t let the gravity of your sin eclipse the vastness God’s great love. Your sin is bad, it’s tragic, it’s terrible, but it is not unforgivable. God knows the end from the beginning. He did not prefer our sin, but He knew it in advance. That is precisely why Jesus came. He did what He knew we could not. With compassion, He took on the punishment we could not have endured. He did this so that we would be free to come to Him, not so that we would stand at a distance in shame refusing to give Him our hardest stuff.
Friend, please hear me today: the degree to which your sin is forgivable is dependent not on the weight of the sin but on the magnitude of the One who forgives. He is bigger, greater, good-er…and more faithful, more true, more gracious, more pure, more perfect, more merciful, more loving, and more compassionate. Jesus Christ’s willing, tragic death and glorious resurrection is enough. It was perfectly complete in every way. Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient to forgive every sin of everyone who will come to Him…yes, even for you, even for that.
Don’t wait another day in secret self-loathing. Run to Him. He knows anyway. He can handle it. He has already made provision for your forgiveness and healing. Now, He awaits your acceptance of this free and beautiful gift. Accept the love, grace, compassion, and forgiveness that He so freely offers. Then walk with Him, and give Him His rightful place in your life – as both Savior and Lord.
Oh, for sure you and I will still fall short again. Despite our best intentions to walk blameless before Him, we will still stumble and fall. We don’t sin so that grace may abound, yet the flesh is still weak. And when we sin, we immediately run to Him, fall at His beautiful feet, and allow Him to pick us up again with those tender, pierced hands and gracious loving eyes.
If we believe the word of God, then we must take seriously the words that lead us to conviction AND the words that lead us to mercy. Hebrews 4:14-16 tell us that in Jesus, who understands our sin and is firmly seated on His heavenly throne, we can come “boldly to the throne of our gracious God” and “there we will receive mercy” from and through Him who understands (NLT).
On this Good Friday, remember that the blood He shed was for you and for that sin. When it comes to carrying around that sin, guilt, and condemnation…it is finished!
Friend, if you’re struggling with this, please don’t struggle alone. Reach out. Connect with a pastor. Contact with me or a godly believer in your life. We would love to help you understand just how wide, high, and deep is His consuming love for you.