I am a sinner.
Jesus died for me and rose again. He paid the penalty for my sin. By acknowledging my sin and trusting in Him, in His death and resurrection, I am forgiven and my debt is canceled. This is the gospel, the good news on which we seek to build our lives. But that is not all.
I am broken.
It is not just that I have done wrong things. It is that my heart is bent, it is crooked. My desires lead me in a seemingly infinite number of damaging directions. Jesus died for me and rose again. Through the forgiveness He purchased for me, Jesus began the work of fixing me, setting the inner workings of my heart and mind straight. He sent His Holy Spirit as an inner surgeon, operating from the inside out. This too is the gospel.
I am wounded.
I have suffered from the wrong things that others have done to me. So have you. We talk about some of those wounds, but not all of them. Some we hide deep inside ourselves. Those wounds are also part of our brokenness and our sin, as they so often lead us to do and feel things we ought not do and feel. Jesus died for us and rose again. As He restores our brokenness, He also enables us to forgive those who have sinned against us. He begins to make us whole again. This too is the gospel.
I am not yet who I will be.
We Christians, those who have believed the message of the gospel and set all our hope for eternity on its truths, are a messy lot. Our sins are forgiven, yet we still commit so many of them. The Holy Spirit is setting us straight, but there is still so much that is crooked about us. God is teaching us to forgive others as He has forgiven us, but the wounds are so often still fresh and painful. In short, we still wrestle with our sin, our brokenness, and our wounds. This too is gospel truth.
One day, I will be who God made me to be.
A day is coming, when I will no longer sin. I will no longer be broken. I will no longer be wounded. I will be completely righteous, whole and healthy. But that day will not come in this life. Yet the gospel promises that it is coming.
Today, my mother is who God made her to be.
As I write this, it has been one week since my mother passed from this earth. As my family and I have grieved and wrestled and pondered and prayed over this past week, we have often found ourselves overjoyed. How could we not be? Mom is now righteous, whole and healthy. Her debt has been paid. She has been remade. She is overjoyed. And we rejoice! We have been in awe at the deep difference the gospel makes in death.
You too can be made whole.
Two months before she died, Mom asked for a new Bible. It was very difficult for her to write, as a result of a stroke she had suffered many years ago. Yet she had since taken the time to mark up the Psalms and to personalize the pronouns of Psalm 32.
She knew that she had to acknowledge her sin to God and that, when she did so, He would forgive the guilt of her sin. Perhaps you, too, need to do this today.
Would you take Psalm 32, as Mom did, and cross out the pronouns, replacing them with your name?
Then Leo acknowledged his sin to you and did not cover up his iniquity. Leo said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of Leo’s sin.
The gospel makes a tremendous difference in this life. It makes an even greater difference in death.