Galatians 2:21 – I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! (NIV)
Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night, and I remember something that I foolishly spoke or an embarrassing mistake that I committed years ago. The event or the expression that I used stings my pride, and I feel sorry for having said or done something stupid that may have hurt or disappointed other people. As I think about my mistake, I wish that I could go back and change the past, but that's never going to happen, so I make a silent prayer to God and ask for Jesus to forgive me. I cannot alter the consequences of my error either, but I am able to leave it in the hands of God after confessing my sin.
This reminds me of why we all need a Saviour. We could say to God that we regret the past and will try to be better people by making it up to Him with a whole load of good deeds, but all we would be doing is covering our shame and blanketing our remorse. We can never do enough good things anyway, because there are countless other times when we have said or done something stupid and selfishly sinful in all of our past.
This is also the reason why the cross is at the centre of our faith. Without Christ's sacrifice, we would sadly remain unforgiven for the numerous sinful moments across our entire lives. Without the effective work of the cross, we could never be restored to God's gracious love. If we could do this all by ourselves, then, as Paul simply states, Jesus would have died for nothing. But because we cannot save ourselves, we need the power, purpose, and peace that the cross of Christ provides for every one of us to be forgiven.
So, perhaps the next time when you or I awaken in the middle of the night and recall an embarrassing or sinful moment from the past, instead of dwelling on our stupidity, we should think about the wonderful opportunity to be totally forgiven and completely reconciled to God through Christ's death on the cross.
Points to ponder: What past regrets do I honestly have that still embarrass or shame me? Have I asked God to forgive me for them in Christ's name?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are at the centre of history and the focal point of all the universe. Your life matters to us in so many ways, but Your death has significantly impacted us by negating our sins and restoring us to our Creator. Thank You for such an amazing gift of love! In Your holy name, we humbly and gratefully pray. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Jesus The Very Thought Of Thee" (Lyrics)