By his stripes

Christ was pierced for my transgressions.  He was bruised for my sin…

By his stripes I AM healed.

How often I forget those words- those beautiful truths that I have had memorized since my AWANA Sparks days! It is time to remember:

Christ’s wounds cover my sin of lust. Satan comes to heaven with stones in his hand saying, “This woman commits adultery in her heart everyday. She would rather entertain these self-indulgent thoughts than wait on your perfect plan for sex. Someone must die for that.”

Christ holds out his nail-scared hands and reminds him, “I already did.”

His wounds cover my sin of pride. Satan storms in again. “This woman places herself above everyone. She is selfish and thinks much too highly of herself. Someone needs to take a mighty big fall for this.”

Christ pushes aside his hair to reveal the scars from his mock-crown and repeats himself, “I already did.”

His wounds cover my sin of hatred. Satan returns, feeling confident. “You said yourself that whoever hates another is guilty of murder. Just look at the hateful things she’s said about your own church. Look at the hateful things she’s said about her own family! She’s even hated a man so much that she prayed he would die. How can you possibly let this murder walk free?”

Christ motions to his wounded side and reminds him, “I took her punishment. I died for her.”

And, yet, while all this goes on in heaven, I sit at home, wondering how I could ever pay off my own sin. It will take a lot of wounds, a lot of stripes. “I’d better get started then,” I think, as I take out my favorite razor blade.

But, then Christ shows up. He motions to the stripes all over his body. “These are enough to heal you,” he says. He knows how hard it is for me to believe him. He knows I will inflict much more pain upon myself  before I fully grasp the concept of redemption, but he doesn’t condemn me. He just puts his arm around me (he knows I am not a hugger), smiles, and hands me a band-aid of grace (which are even better than the Spongebob variety). He heals. He comforts. He understands. And, it is a beautiful thing.

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