I remember it well, like it was yesterday. I was listening to a radio program as I drove home from a church event and something that the speaker said cut me right to the heart and tears began streaming down my face. I had to pull over into a side street because I was so shaken. Earlier, at the event, there had been a prayer call. I wanted to go up—I am usually the first in line for prayer. Yet, something prevented me from getting out of my seat. Now, hearing the words coming from my radio, I felt like Jesus was talking straight to me: “If you have asked God for forgiveness, you are forgiven. No matter how awful or big you think your sin is, if you have truly repented…you are forgiven.”
The speaker went on to say that often we ask for forgiveness for the same sin over and over again because we think it was so unforgivable that it couldn’t possibly be taken away after just one ask. Her words were exactly what I needed to hear! I had been doing this…I had been doubting the fact that this one thing could be forgiven. It didn’t seem like enough. I felt like I needed punishment or a series of steps leading to forgiveness. But, no…it was done. Over. Forgiven.
This is one reason why we need the experience of Holy Week. We need to live through the devastating walk to the Cross. We need to step into the shoes of those first disciples and see what Jesus went through in those last days. Our journey to the Cross needs to be so meaningful and so real that we understand the true sacrifice Jesus made. This eternal life in the Kingdom that we have, came at a price.
The sacrifice of Jesus was once and for all. It is done. It is finished. Now we claim that glory, we celebrate that resurrection life!
My doubt held me back that evening when I refused prayer. I was struggling with an issue that wasn’t an issue at all. How often do we do that—and why do we put ourselves through it?
This Holy Week I pray that we all thoroughly invest ourselves in the journey. May we pray through each day, let the scripture move us and compel us. Let us not shy away from the difficult moments, but instead move closer to God, closer to Jesus, closer to Resurrection Sunday.