Many Christians around the world observe a season called Lent. Traditionally, the six weeks of Lent are set aside for reflection, for thinking about our sins and about the sacrifice God made in sending his only Son to be our Savior.
Lent begins with a day called Ash Wednesday. During church services on this day, a pastor places a cross of ashes on worshipers’ foreheads as an outward sign of repentance, of humility.
Even if Ash Wednesday is a new concept to you, you still get the point: we mess up—badly. Sin is a dreadful thing, a ghastly thing. In fact, it’s a damnable thing. The Bible warns, “The wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous” (Psalm 1:5 ESV). That’s a poetic way of saying that a relationship with God is impossible for anyone who sins. After this life comes judgment. And after judgment comes an existence totally cut off from God, who is the source of all life, all love, all joy, all peace—all that is good.
Read more about it in Isaiah 64:6–9.
We all sin, and we can’t get rid of our guilt by ourselves. But God knew that all along—and still, he loved us! That’s why, from the very beginning, God had a plan to rescue us.
Read more about it in 1 Peter 1:18–20.
Our heavenly Father sent Jesus to do what we could never do. Jesus would obey God’s Law perfectly. And then, this one perfect Man would take all of our sins upon himself. He would die on the cross in our place, and our sins would be crucified with him.
Jesus’ death was far more than the execution of a supposed criminal. That “criminal” is God himself!—and death could not hold him. Jesus walked out of his tomb on Easter morning—alive, well, and never to die again!
Lord, my sins were the beginning of the story, but they’re not the end. I know I can’t rescue myself. Thank you for sending Jesus to save me, to erase my sins. Sins like . . .
Now Jesus’ story is my story! His perfection is my perfection. His righteousness is my righteousness. Lord, you see me as your forgiven child. Let this impact my life when . . .
You have given me hope and peace through Jesus. Thank you, God! I praise you for . . .
Guide me so that I live more and more in ways that align with your Word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Editor’s note: Today’s devotion comes from CTA’s brand-new resource for students, the More Than a Story Easter Faith Journal. It’s designed to take students all the way through the Easter season in an interactive, faith-based way. Check out a preview of the journal here and order your copies today at ctainc.com.
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