Devotional of the Week: The freedom of forgiveness

“See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” Isaiah 6:7

Crucifix, Henri Matisse, Vatican Museum

Crucifix, Henri Matisse, Vatican Museum

I love how the Old Testament foreshadows the New. Isaiah has confessed that he is a man of unclean lips and declares that he’s ruined; finished. But God sends a messenger to bring release from his sins. As the God of flame sends a red-hot coal to touch Isaiah’s lips, his sin is atoned for. He is now fit to be God’s conduit of his message. His prophet.

God was sending his message to his people, the Israelites, calling them to repent. Years later he would send his own Son to be his message, again calling his people to repent, turn from their sins, and embrace the overflowing life he wants to bestow on us all.

The cross of Jesus is a place of exchange where we can continue to bring the sins we commit and those committed against us. As we nail them to the cross or leave them at the feet of Jesus, we will find release. In their place, the Lord will bestow on us his love, mercy, grace, peace and joy.

Perhaps you could construct a cross out of twigs or boards. Take some time to ask God to reveal to you anything that you might need to be free of – a false name you have taken on, or burdens of wrongs you’ve done or those done against you. Write them out and pin in – or hammer – them to the cross, knowing that through the power of Jesus’ atoning blood, you are free. Free from the sins or the false names, you can open your hands to receive God’s gifts.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your amazing sacrifice, that I might live with joy and freedom. Amen.

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