A Reflection on Sin

This is a personal reflection on sin and the meaning of Good Friday.  I recommend taking your time to reflect on the images and the words.  Thank you to my husband, Andy and our dear friend Jonathan Hoffman for helping with the writing.  

I'm happy to answer any questions you might have.  

When you're ready to begin, press play. 

You have forgotten me

Are you comfortable with your sin?

You see sin becomes familiar over time, and can become a part of our identity.  

Although we don't always see it, it is a stain.  

But the stains are a mark of something deeper and greater: the death we carry within us.

A mouldy stain can spread in normal, bright and beautiful conditions if the inner material has been compromised. 

So it is with sin in our relationships, family, work, recreation, sexuality.

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But he was pierced for our rebellion,
   crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
   He was whipped so we could be healed.

All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
   We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
   the sins of us all.

Isaiah 53:3-5

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What are your sins? 

What is keeping you away from God?

Have you forgotten Him?

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We often view Jesus as someone who has done a great favor for us.  We are grateful but we feel a bit awkward because we feel it puts us in his debt, which is an uncomfortable position.  Some people reject him out of pride because they still think they can help themselves.  For many Christians it’s more subtle how they “forget Jesus” - having begun in the Spirit they want to finish in the flesh.  

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But the whole mission of the Messiah was to liberate, release, cleanse, restore.  We might not accept a handout from someone because we don’t like feeling obligated, but if we were drowning in the ocean, or fell through a sheet of ice, or were dangling over a precipice — and the stakes were life or death — only a fool would refuse the hand offered.  But I suspect the real reason we forget Jesus so often is that we really are suspicious that we would be loved by God.  This love breaks through a false self that we create, our own personal branding, and meets us in the muck.  The love of Jesus is perfect because it stoops down to lift us out of the slop, and in the lifting, the sinless, stainless Jesus has to take our stains.  But he doesn’t stop at identifying with us, he trades places with us, and in the exchange the oppressive decay of sin that has been spreading is halted.  Death is broken and life is reborn, starting at the root, the inner being, the spirit formed by God but in our blindness foreign to Him. 

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You will say this is a very small sin, but it does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge you away from the Light and out into the nothing. Indeed the safest road to hell is the gradual one - the gentle slope, soft under foot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.

- C.S Lewis

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This is a great place to add a tagline.

The love of Jesus is perfect because it stoops down to lift us out of our filth, and in the lifting, the sinless, stainless Jesus takes our sins. But he doesn’t stop at identifying with us, he trades places with us, and in the exchange the oppressive decay of sin that has been spreading is halted. Death is broken and life is reborn, starting at the root, the inner being, the spirit formed by God but in our blindness foreign to him.

In the Bible, when the unclean woman touches Jesus (Mark 5:25-34), her touch didn’t leave Jesus stained, it left her clean. Only he can cleanse, restore, revive and release us. He can do this by virtue of his identity as the Holy one, God’s Son and our Saviour.

We all know that the friends who love us are those who don’t abandon us in our ugliness but the ones who enter into it.

Jesus will never leave us. We need only reach for Him.