backslide, backslider, blasphemy, cross, Easter, Easter message, Easter story, Jesus, Jesus conquerer, Jesus messiah, Jesus redeemer, Messiah, more than a conquerer, redeemer, saved, saved by grace, saved from sin, Savior, sin, story of Easter, valliant rescue, villain
Guess who rescued me?
My story, like so many others has a villain. He has worn many masks. His disguises are very deceptive. He can act like a total stranger but most often his tactic is to take on the appearance of someone I love. To have the appearance of someone I am supposed to feel safe with. He loves to get away with making me think that my pain, wound, or attack has come from someone who is supposed to love me.
When I was 5 years old I was betrayed by someone at my church. Someone who was designed by God as a mentor. I remember realizing that this was such a horrible thing that it would require something like army soldiers to come in with big guns and even a tank to rescue me. The view I had of a soldier was that they stand up for those who are unable and would fight on their behalf, all in a valiant rescue from the terror. I remember one day in particular that I was getting mad and even experienced hot angry sad tears as I waited.
“Why weren’t they coming?”
“Why didn’t anyone know to call them?”
“Why weren’t they coming to rescue me?”
Let’s fast forward to a time in my young adult life. I was betrayed by someone who promised to take care of me. I was older by now and even tried to go to the police. I kept thinking surely they can step in with all their authority and protect me from the terror. But again, I was left alone wondering ….
“Why weren’t they coming through?”
“Why didn’t anyone know how to make it stop?”
“Why weren’t they going to rescue me?”
Terror was winning again.
One day God was speaking to me. He was asking me about some of these things from those past experiences that were in my heart. He kept touching them and asking about them. I kept coming back with “Well he did/said… (whatever it was)” But He kept asking me the same question. Finally I was getting really angry. I was beginning to feel betrayed by God for a moment. Then He gently said, “I am not asking you about him, or him, or even the other hims….I am asking my darling…What you did to your heart with what he/they did to you? What did you choose to do with those things in your own heart? I want to help you let those go. I don’t want them to keep hurting you.”
This was one of those times that God came in revealed that His heart is really for me not against me. It was also a time that He revealed that my heart really matters to Him not just my being saved from my sins but for my heart to truly be rescued. My hurting, aching, betrayed heart mattered to Him. I know I say it a lot but He said in Isaiah 61 that He came to bring the good news, to grieve with the mourning, and to set the captives free. That they (I) would trade ashes for beauty and be a mighty oak of righteousness in the planting of the day of the Lord.
I know many of you have heard the Easter story over and over again. You may think you have it down by now. I pray that you don’t ever settle for that. I pray that you are asking Jesus to show you every day, every year even more how and in how many ways He has rescued you. It isn’t Jesus meek and mild that went down to hell and grabbed those keys on my behalf. It was an Almighty King! The King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He wasn’t messing around with making it look nice and pretty and appropriate for church on Sunday. The cross was violent, bloody and messy. He took all of that on for me. Then He conquered sin and He conquered death. I can only imagine what that intense scene was like …. Him conquering sin, death, hell. I wish there was a decent movie representation of how I see Jesus as a warrior especially in that moment. I know He is all things but I think the meek and mild has been way overstated and way overdone to the point of it being blasphemous. Ya… I’m sure Ill hear about that statement from someone. But I am not interested in winning any popularity contests. I want to be real and alive with a real live Jesus in my life here today. I want to offer the same amazing rescue to a hurting, lonely, orphaned world. The world needs a valiant rescue. There are Christians out there who need a valiant rescue. Christians who are saved by grace but they do not really know Jesus personally. They do not have to whole story. They do not know that their hearts matter and that the pain, betrayal and abandonment they have suffered matter to Him too. He came to be with us in all of that. I keep hearing that message that Christ suffered and asks us to suffer with Him. Well He did and He does but the message I have heard from quite a few churches really skews that scripture making us question God’s deep heart for us. That is wrong! He saw that we were suffering, grieving, imprisoned and decided we needed someone to come along side us in our sufferings…not only that but to take our place and on our behalf.
Take time this year to not settle for the same old Easter story. It was a valiant rescue.
Do you know ALL of your own story?
Did you know that your heart, not just your sin matters to God?
What does your rescue really look like?
Ask your real live rescuer to answer that for you?