Jesus, friend of sinners

It's Holy Week, so I'm not fighting about anything on facebook. I am not going to blog about gay marriage. I am going to blog about my conversation with my husband last night.

"Does gay marriage affect me?" I ask Robert, as I'm brushing my teeth.
"What are you talking about?" He asks. Then I remember that I'm the news correspondent in our family and quickly update him about what's going on in the world and on facebook.

{We didn't get a good answer to that question, by the way. We talked it over and went through a lot.} 

Robert is reading through the Bible right now with a group of men at church, led by our pastor. He is right in the worst of the Old Testament right now - judges, sin, punishment, demolishing of nations.

I'm reading a Bible study about revival in your heart with our women's Bible study. I'm in the middle of studying God's holiness and my heart. I'm in the middle of reviewing the message on the cross.

Image Copyright Cory Schoolland,
used with permission

This was not the most conducive background for a debate about gay marriage, the state, the church, etc. While Robert is talking about God smiting Israel, I'm talking about personal repentance. So we didn't get anywhere other than discussion, which is not a bad thing. I was thinking about that juxtaposition, what Robert's reading and what I'm studying, and I realized, it's not by accident. It is what everything is about.

What a strange overlap, no? That sin is so severe. That we are all so broken. That we actively choose to wander in the dessert over obeying and loving God. That we are eternally doomed to destruction because of our actions. That is the horizontal line of the cross. We are broken people. That horizontal line is pointing right at us, people.

Then there's Jesus. Jesus who came to fulfill the law so we could be relieved of it's burden. Jesus who looked at the "church" of the day and confronted it. Jesus who said that we are to serve and be poor and get dirty and love more than we are comfortable loving. Jesus, who endured a painful, shameful death... for me. That is the vertical line of the cross. We are broken people, and Jesus saved us anyway. The line, it's coming right down to the lowly and undeserving.

John 8 tells the story of the woman caught in adultery. I am the Pharisee, eager to condemn and act righteous, and I want to have something to call "wrong" so I can see myself as right. I am the woman, caught, shamed, sinful, both deserving of my punishment and so desperately in need of grace.

What does Jesus say to me? Two things.

1. Let you who is without sin cast the first stone.
2. Neither do I condemn you, now go and leave your life of sin.

What does this show me? 1 - I need to fight for justice. I need to be more loving in the way I view other people. I need to put down the stones.
2- I am wretched, and Jesus saved me. He calls me to so much more than a life of sin or a life of stone throwing.

I don't know what this means for you. I'm not judging your responses to issues at hand or your convictions. I only know what it means for me. I only know that those 2 statements are very convicting and seem like an impossible challenge. I only know that, as Easter, approaches, I will only have one prayer, one praise. The praise of salvation. The prayer for more love, more of Christ in my life.

"Oh Jesus,
friend of sinners,
break our hearts
for what breaks yours."
- Casting Crowns

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