Most people know at least something about who Jesus is. If you said, “Jesus has taken my sin” to the average Joe, they would probably vaguely know what you’re talking about. It’s a phrase that’s so commonly thrown around by Christians that people hear it and don’t even bother considering what it really means. But what it means changes everything. It has for us.
It’s an absolutely loaded sentence. It means your life has sin in it that will eternally ruin you if something isn’t done about it. Let’s not call them mistakes, or oversights, or slip-ups. As Christine Caine says, “The milder we make the label, the more potent we make the poison”. Sin is sin, as unpopular as that word is. It leads to everything that isn’t life giving. You’re unable to do anything about your sin on your own, but Jesus can do something about it, and He has done something about it. This is massive. It’s absolutely pivotal to everything it means to be saved. Jesus has allowed us to bring our sin to Him so we no longer have it on our record, but are instead welcomed into His Presence. It’s incomprehensively incredible. He suffered in the most brutal way for this to be the case. We’re free!
BUT – that’s not all that happened at the Cross, and ‘getting’ this is essential if we want to see the complete beauty and immeasurable value of Jesus’ death for us. Yes, we can take our sin to Him – “Jesus took our sins in His body on the cross” (1 Peter 2:24). But He took more than that:
- He can take the shame that we felt because of those sins. He died in the most shameful way that was possible at the time – a method reserved for murderers, thieves, and those the Roman rulers wanted to humiliate beyond belief. He was put to shame for our sins (Hebrew 12:2 explains this idea).
- He can take our pride. It’s been said that pride is the sin that gives rise to every other sin. At the root of us becoming loving, Jesus-like people, is the removal of our pride. Life is so much more enjoyable with less pride in it. When we’re humble the pressure lifts, because we know it’s all about Him anyway! Saint Augustine said we are to “nail all feelings of pride to the cross”. Feel the pressure lift by unloading your pride.
- He can take our pain, whether physical or emotional. He came to “heal the brokenhearted” (Luke 4:18). “By His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5), referring to the whippings that He received in the lead up to His death. He didn’t endure all that pain and torture for nothing, or even just to save us in the future. What Jesus has done changes our lives now. Healing is possible because of the Cross.
Sounds good, right? Jesus takes a lot of bad stuff from our lives. But that’s still not the full picture. Say you got hold of an empty, dark, decrepit, rat-infested, mildew-covered house. You could get rid of the rats and the mildew easily enough, but it still wouldn’t be a warm, inviting home. The house has to be filled. Filled with light, furniture, people, love. That’s what Jesus does for us. He hasn’t just taken the bad stuff. He fills us with better alternatives. It’s an exchange. He gives us joy, peace, hope and righteousness to fill our houses. After all, these are houses within which He’s decided to live. In fact, instead of just giving us those things, He Himself is our joy, peace, hope and righteousness. We get to take up those things, instead of just laying our own junk down.
Give Him your sin, your shame, your pride and your pain. Take up His joy, His peace, His hope and His righteousness. It’s so simple that we sometimes struggle to believe it, but this is what He does. It doesn’t matter what’s going on around us. He is all we’ll ever need, and we can take complete joy in Him for the rest of our lives because of who He is and what He’s done for us!