Have you ever been given an amazing gift or been the recipient of an amazingly kind gesture? Yet, deep inside you were skeptical of the giver’s motivation? Maybe you wondered if there was an ulterior motive? Maybe you wondered why they choose to give you something so extravagant?
If we’re honest, it can be deceivingly easy to feel that way about the gift Jesus offered us on the cross. It just seems too good to be true. A quiet voice whispers to our vulnerable soul, “That can’t be enough to redeem someone like you. Remember your shortcomings? Remember that huge sin? You’d better keep punishing yourself, because the punishment you deserve certainly can’t be covered by the cross.” And, so while Christ rose to life, we stay in the grave.
I’ll be honest with you. I spent many years as a Christian while continuing to indulge myself in self-punishment. At the core, I really believed I needed to continue to punish myself for my past. I knew God loved me. I knew I was Heaven bound. In theory, I knew He forgave me. Deep down though, in hidden places there was the unresolved lie that what Jesus did on the cross was not enough to cover the multitude of sin in my life. I had to pay – myself. His sacrifice just couldn’t be enough, not for me. And so, I stayed in the grave.
Friends, the resurrection message is profound and reaches into every corner of our lives. Today, as you read this if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, yet continue to allow the grave of regret to rob you of self-forgiveness, shame to cover your radiance, fear to cause you to forfeit peace, disappointment to say, "You dare not dream," doubt to cripple hope, or accepting imposters in place of the true love of God that overcame the grave, will you take a step forward? Will you follow the example that Christ Himself modeled for us to be obedient and step out of the grave? Will you determine to remember not your former days, and instead lift your eyes and arms to heaven and declare, “Lord! If you left the grave behind you, so will I!”
When Christ left the grave, He never looked back. It was behind Him. What grave has kept you from the true peace, freedom, and joy you’ve been promised as a child of God? What do you need to leave behind so you can lay claim to the rightful gifts that belong to you?
Today, it’s time to leave the grave behind you. We can't add one. single. thing to the price Christ paid, but we can refuse the gift. Will you open your hands, hearts, and minds and receive once and for all, the voice of truth that tells you, “Indeed, the price paid on the cross was enough to cover EVERY wrong.” Without wariness, hesitation, or suspicion will you surrender, receive the most extravagant gift of all time, and leave the grave behind?
This Easter I pray that you accept not just the gift of salvation, but maybe for the first time, truly step forward and receive the gift of renewal in the spirit of your mind, and…put on the new woman which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:23-24). It’s time to be who you already are – a free, redeemed, forgiven, loved, accepted, radiant woman of God.
Lord Jesus, if you left the grave behind you, so will I. In Jesus Name, Amen.