The following is a blog post I wrote a couple of weeks ago for my friend Donna Stuart. She leads a ministry called Masterpiece. She is a dear friend. If you are a young woman, 18 - 25 years of age, I cannot commend her ministry enough to you! For more information, go here."Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities." Isaiah 53:11"And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, 'Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but your, be done.' And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground." Luke 22:41 - 43"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1 - 2Have you ever felt the weight of your sin? Maybe you had secret thoughts in your heart, thoughts that never saw the light of day, thoughts that hadn't resulted in action (yet), that were suddenly found out? Have you felt the crushing heaviness? The shame? If you haven't, I pray you will. And if you have, take heart, it is God's sweet mercy.As I read the verse in Isaiah, I couldn't help but picture Jesus in the garden praying, knowing and seeing (as Isaiah says) what was before Him. Yes, the act of crucifixion was excruciating, not to mention the beatings and betrayal he endured, but in addition to all of that, He took on our iniquities. He bore the weight, the heaviness, the shame of our sin. He became a curse for us (Galatians 3:13). Imagine feeling the gravity of your sin times every person you know. It is but a small fraction of what Jesus felt.He knew what was before Him. He saw it. He saw my sin. He saw your sin. He felt the immense weight of it. And yet it says "for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross." And, that His soul would "see and be satisfied." How is that possible? It's possible because Jesus saw further than our sin. He saw what His enduring the cross would purchase: a people for Himself, called by His name, made for His glory, no longer seeking their own glory, captives set free, sinners made righteous.Sin is real. It is heavy. It costs. On this side of heaven, it is going to happen. We will seek comfort and value in our idols instead of the one true God.But...There is Jesus. He is the Author: the cross and what it purchased is His idea, His story. He is the Perfecter: He will squeeze each idol out of our hearts, we are to but trust and obey Him.What does it look like to trust and obey Him? First John 1:9 says "if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Sister, do not let the heaviness of sin weigh you down to the point of defeat. If you are in Christ, there is no defeat. Confess your sins to Him. Find a sister in Christ whom you trust and confess to her. Dig into the Word. Flee temptation. Pray for the Holy Spirit to give you strength if even in fleeing you are met with temptation. Lastly, but importantly, thank Him. Praise Him for seeing the agony before Him and enduring it with joy and satisfaction.Father, I thank You for giving Your perfect Son. Jesus, thank You for laying Your life down fully knowing what that would entail. Holy Spirit, help me to abide in You. Cleanse my deceitful heart, so prone to wander. Thank You for the body of believers in which You have set me to work out my salvation with fear and trembling. May You be glorified.
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