The Exchange

She went to the tomb early, while it was still dark…

A few days earlier, their best friend was brutally murdered.  The one whom they loved and worshiped had allowed Himself to be taken.  When they tried to defend Him, He had rebuked them.  It was as if He knew everything that would happen, and was still submitting to their schemes.  Nothing seemed right anymore.

As I prepared for our family to celebrate this week, I thought of all these wonderful ideas that would help our kids really understand what Jesus did for us on the cross.  There are so many books with beautiful illustrations, so many crafts, so many songs.  One flaw in my planning was that I wanted everything to be perfect.  I wanted lessons of the greatest miracle ever to exist, to fit neatly in my box.  My mind was planning so much, it may have even been tied with a bow.

But reality set in.  My son didn’t want to learn a song and my daughter only wanted to practice if she could be the teacher.  Yes, this was the very week her desire for independence came out roaring!  My husband, being a pastor, had an especially busy week and was gone.  I became frustrated and miserably failed at not snapping at the kids.  By the time Friday rolled around, I was exhausted!  My plans and my strength had gotten me nowhere.  I felt like I was in the parenting trenches all. day. long.  All we did was work against disobedience.  My sin was blaringly obvious.  Probably to everyone around me, as well.  I told my husband, “we’re a total mess!  I think God wants us to see our desperate need before we go remember the cross tonight!”

There it was.  I wanted this week to be perfect.  I wanted to bring my ideas and acts of worship in a beautifully, packaged box.  I wanted to have everything just so.  But, that is not the gospel message.  That is not why Jesus suffered.  That is not the cross.

When Jesus died on the cross, He completed the ultimate sacrifice.  He finished the great exchange.  He took my sin (everyone’s sin) upon Himself and gave me (everyone who accepts it) the gift of His righteousness.

“You are everything that is right and clean and you are covering me with your majesty.”  David Crowder

If you have read your Bible and been a Christian for a while now, it is easy to get distracted or let your mind wander when the gospel message is presented.  But it is for every single one of us.  It does not age or expire.  Remembering what Jesus did for us, should not grow old.  His sacrifice on the cross covers my mess.  When I am dirty, He is everything that is “right and clean.”

In my planning.  In my mothering.  In my to-do list.  In my marriage.  In my friendships.  In everything I do, He offers me the exchange of my mess for His majesty.

In light of all of this, as Sunday is upon us, we have hope to celebrate!  It would have been a great idea or a kind gesture for Jesus to die on the cross.  Honestly, a crazy choice.  If it were not for one glorious truth…

Jesus did not stay dead!  We would still have our mess, our sins, our devastation of death, if Jesus had not risen victorious JUST LIKE HE SAID HE WOULD.  The exchange of mess for majesty works because when Jesus rose from the dead, He proved that He has the authority to offer such a gift!

She went to the tomb early, while it was still dark…Later on, He would appear to her saying “Mary.” She turned and said to Him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher)…”Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’–and that he had said these things to her” (John 20:16-18).

These accounts are written, so we may believe.  In believing we may have life.  My mess for His majesty…the only perfect exchange.

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