It’s good Friday once again, and my feelings are running wild today as I’m reminded of what Jesus did.
It’s funny – no matter how many Good Fridays I’ve experienced as a Christ follower (This marks the eighth – YAY!!), I’m never expecting the feelings that come along with this day. They come suddenly and quickly in a way I cannot explain.
On Thursday I’m going about my regular life without considering God the way I should be. And then Good Friday comes, and as I walk into church and hear the songs of Jesus’ death – songs I hear on a regular basis – I feel sorrow, I feel joy, conviction, hope, love, and everything in between in a matter of seconds. I suddenly remember who Jesus is and what he did, and my heart is so overwhelmed for a thousand different reasons.
“Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
We fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to Him who showed great love”
These were the first lyrics I heard at church today, the ones that really got me. In particular, “Inside the lie of inward shame” is the line that really slapped me across the face like it never has before. At that moment, every inch of shame I’ve ever known came to mind and the words “Shame is a liar” echoed in my soul.
Shame has lied to me and you over and over again.
Shame is the liar that tells us we are too far gone.
Shame is the liar that tells us we need to “do more” and “do better” for God to really love us.
Shame is the liar that tells us the gift of God’s grace is not free, and not worth it.
Shame is the liar that tells us we are not enough.
Shame is the liar that tells us over and over again that we are unforgivable.
Shame is the liar that stands in front of the grace of the cross that Jesus hung on so it’s no longer visible.
More recently, shame is the liar who tells me I’m not a “good Christ follower” (which isn’t really a thing to begin with?) because I keep forgetting who He is.
About a week ago I went on a walk through the forest by myself.
While I was walking I thought to myself “I should take this opportunity to spend some time talking to God.” So I opened my mouth to begin speaking,
And then I closed my mouth.
That was the moment the shame came over me like a tidal wave. My mind raced as I tried to make sense of the fact that I didn’t feel like talking to Jesus. The fact that I hesitated told me I needed to talk to Jesus. So going against the grain of every bone in my body, I began to speak out loud in the forest.
And it didn’t feel natural. I cannot remember the last time I audibly talked to Jesus by myself before that day.
My prayers started out very generic, very empty. Very fake. With every word that came out of my mouth the sinking feeling became worse. Do I realize who I’m talking to? I felt alarmingly uncomfortable and uninterested in the words I was saying. The frustration was rising within me.
Then the truth came out. “Sometimes I forget who You are.”
Sometimes I forget just how big and mighty God is. I forget to spend time with him because I’m selfish. I tend to forget that He’s the reason for it all. I forget that God is God. I get so caught up in my own life sometimes that I forget what He’s done for me. I forget that He pulled me out of the dark pit of destruction and brought me into light. For free. I didn’t have to do a thing except for accept Him.
Sometimes I forget that Jesus died on the cross.
I mean, I never forget the knowledge that he died on the cross. In fact, I knew that even before I believed in him. But sometimes I forget the significance. The wonder. The awe. And whenever this day comes around, I’m reminded of the wonder and awe of Jesus dying on the cross for us. Paying the infinite price of our sin. It always blows my mind.
But I don’t want it to just blow my mind at Easter time. It can’t only blow my mind at Easter time – it needs to be every day. And the shame comes from the fact that it doesn’t. But the reason it doesn’t because I don’t seek Jesus on a daily basis – something that I always tell others they should do. The shame is there too.
But today Jesus is telling me that shame is a liar. He’s telling me that yes, I need to seek him and conviction is good but no, I can’t let myself become a slave to shame. That defeating shame and knowing Him go hand in hand, because they can’t both exist in the same heart effectively.
The more I know the truths of Jesus, the less I know the lies of shame.
This is only one example of shame. Maybe the shame of something BIG is weighing you down. Something you think is too big to receive grace for. Your shame is so powerful and overwhelming – you deserve to feel the shame. In reality, we do deserve to feel shame. But because of Jesus we can let that shame go, He can take it all away the moment we ask.
Shame is a liar and a thief. But on this day so many years ago, Jesus Christ died on the cross to free us from it’s power with his grace and love. And I am so so thankful.
It’s the best truth out there. Maybe you happened to come across this post and you “aren’t really into the Jesus thing”. Maybe this is all nonsense to you. If it is, I beg you – please look into this “Jesus” thing for yourself – you may be surprised what you find.
I want you to know this truth so badly.
“Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”