When I was a teenager I didn’t have many doubts about my faith. Now, as an adult, I can say that’s probably because I didn’t have many questions. I blindly believed whatever anyone from the pulpit was saying. I spoke a language I didn’t fully understand and navigated a very complex world of faith like it was a game of Monopoly. Today I’m thinking about the story of Thomas, the doubter, and the 53rd chapter of Isaiah. Asking myself if this is all really possible? Is it possible that a single vessel, fully human and fully God could take on my afflictions, die on a cross, and conquer death? Is it possible that his death has made a way for me? Is it possible that he intercedes for me? That his blood pleads for my innocence? Is this grace real? Am I truly forgiven?
Outwardly, I live a prim and good life. I write about faith, culture, and human behavior. I pray (although not as much as I should) and devote my life to following Christ, the one who died for me and came back for me. But I’m stricken by every selfish affliction like any other human. I’m jealous, greedy, and far too concerned with myself. I forget on a daily basis that what matters is the people around me. I forget to share in their burdens. I forget to stop and feel for them.
And still this morning, in light of all these gaping flaws, I realize that it is true. That Jesus knew I would fall short and still he loved me enough to offer his body as a final sacrifice. Despite my doubts, I realize that Jesus was the only who ever came for me. When I look at other streams of faith and analyze their core values, I see common grace there–threads of the same beliefs. But in no other faith did anyone come for me. Jesus came. He healed the sick, befriended the sinners, extended grace to the ashamed, and then he gave himself up for me. He saw me in my weakness, in my doubting, in my ambition towards self-destruction and he offered himself as a sacrifice. He believed we deserved grace. We deserved a way to the father that only his death could offer. And he sent the Holy Spirit to comfort and counsel.
I am ashamed to say that I forget this too often. This Easter I have found it especially hard to sit down and settle myself into reflection. I forget that I’m a transformed being, changed from the inside out. I get distracted by my earthly clothes–the flesh wrapped around my bones–and I neglect the fact that I am a new creation. That my life is made possible because of his death and resurrection. He came for us–to show us how to live. Then he died for us–to show us how much he loves us. And he came back for us.