I think deep down we all long for redemption.
And not just a general, one-size-fits-all kind of redemption.
We crave personal redemption.
We long to see our wrongs righted, our errors deleted, our crooked paths made straight.
Those of us who like to dwell in The Land of Regrets wish desperately we could start over.
We wish we could say more than ‘sorry’ to the people we’ve hurt.
We just wish we didn’t do that bloody thing in the first place.
And that critical inner voice haunts us some nights – you know, the one which reminds us of all the ways we’ve stuffed up?
All the things we’ve done wrong.
All the faithlessness, the disbelief.
All the lies, the failure to act when courage was needed, the harsh comments… the thoughtless words.
And they become like mountains – towers of faults – looming around us, taunting.
Unless we break the cycle.
And breaking this particular cycle is the hardest thing in the world.
The cycle of self-recrimination. Self-doubt. Shame. Grief. Sorrow.
Our past becomes a noose around our necks, growing tighter as we indulge our thoughts.
Until we yell ‘stop!’… and it loosens at the sound of one name.
The sound of the name Jesus – the one who is called Redemption.
The one who can throw the past away – not because it didn’t matter, but because it bloody did matter.
Jesus knows what sin did to us and still does to us.
Our crimes – and those of others – mount up and up and up until we can’t take it anymore.
And we cry ‘Jesus!’
And we remember Jesus.
And what he did to make things right.
There on the cross, carrying the weight of the world.
Carrying my broken world and yours.
Taking it on.
Bearing it all.
Then triumphing over the darkness once and forever.
Please take over, Jesus.
Please make things right.
Please wipe our slates clean.
Please take our burdens – our mountains of shame.
Please pull us into your tender embrace.
Please take us out of this cycle and into a new one.
Please give us a fresh start.
Please redeem what is lost.
Please bring us home again.
Home to where forgiveness lives and love reigns and sorrow dissipates at the sound of your voice.
Oh, we long for a new day.
Right now? Things might feel heavy.
But with Jesus?
Life starts to feel lighter once more.
Because Redemption is His name.
And Redemption is our friend.
And Redemption will one day make things right – once and for all.
Oh how we long for that day.