By Brooke Holt
“And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.” (Colossians 1:21-24)
Shame is a powerful force in our world today. There is shame for the wrong things we have done, for the things others have done to us, and shame that comes from comparing ourselves to others and that terrible sense of not measuring up. The Lord knew the power of shame to destroy people, and he made a way for you and me to live free from that shame. As Jesus hung on the cross, he took our shame upon himself. He died a sinner’s death that you may live free from that shame. Jesus offers you the greatest exchange ever! You give him all your shame, and he gives you all his righteousness. Sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it?
Just a few verses before these, Paul wrote about deliverance from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (verse 13). Paul continues to explain this great rescue story. Jesus rescued you from the bondage of the darkness, made the way for your reconciliation to the Father, and now declares you to be holy and blameless before the Father. How does that work? How can he make sinners holy and blameless before the Lord? Only through the blood of Jesus!
Do you understand this divine mystery and exchange? More importantly, do you embrace the freedom of this sacred exchange? Your past does not define you. Jesus does, and he declares today and always that you are holy and blameless. When the Lord looks at you, he sees the righteousness of Jesus Christ—not sin, failure, abuse, and certainly not the cloak of shame. Today is the day to allow him to remove the shame cloak once and for all. Give it to Jesus and let him give you his cloak of righteousness. He paid a great price for this sacred exchange!
Consider this invitation to a sacred exchange. The Lord longs for you to live free from all shame and see yourself as he sees you — “holy and blameless and above reproach before him.” We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
The Crucified Life small group Christian study is designed to reflect upon the Seven Last Words of Christ from the cross and what they mean for us today. Walk the road of Calvary with Jesus in order to grow closer to Him. The Crucified Life small group study examines human suffering as it is mirrored in Christ’s suffering on the cross and what His seven last words say to a hurting world. Find out incredible insights into these words as Jesus teaches us, even in death, how we can use our suffering and triumph over it for His glory. Begin your Crucified Life today.
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