A moment later I found myself clinging to a Grand Canyon outcropping which stood out like a finger reaching far into the sky. It stood alone about four feet from where I had jumped and about three feet lower. To jump back to safety would require an Olympian long jump I was not capable of making. The drop on all sides was at least one hundred feet.
As we celebrate Holy Week, our ministry brings the Easter related Bible resources to the fore. Thousands of pastors and teaching leaders throughout Latin America come to LOGOI for fresh ideas, Bible lessons, study helps, and even sermon outlines as they prepare their talks and messages. As we reposition the resources, we are blessed by them all over again, too.
Of course, articles written by my father are my favorite. And one he wrote titled, “How Forgiven Are We?” seemed appropriate for all of us foolish and sinful “cliff jumpers.” In it, he takes us to Romans 7 and discusses our “unrelenting struggle between our spiritual desires and our desires that are totally contrary to God.” He goes on to explain the incredible Good News of what Jesus accomplished at the cross for us – a full pardon “even for the sins we commit today.”
Writing primarily to pastors, he describes the guilt, brokenness, and unworthiness we feel. “How can God use someone like me – who gives in to sin so easily – to proclaim the Good News?”
He then asks his readers to do something. I am asking you to do it, too. Open your Bible to Luke 7:36-50. In this familiar passage a sinful woman pours expensive perfume over Jesus’ feet. Feel the incredible emotion as “…her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair.”
NOW, in all the places where the passage refers to “the woman,” insert your name. Dad said, “Open your Bible and read it aloud to yourself. Do it right now.” Bring yourself to verse 48. Here Jesus says to the woman and thus says to those of us who believe in Him, “_________, your sins are forgiven.”
What a beautiful Easter message! Our sins are forgiven! Complete and unconditional grace. “At the cruel cross,” my Dad explained, “the blessed Son of God received from His beloved Father all the judgment and punishment you and I deserve. There at the cross Jesus exclaimed, ‘It is finished.’ He completed all that was required for divine justice to forgive us completely and totally – no matter the depth of our sin.”
My brother Gregg and a college buddy, Paul, were with me there in the Grand Canyon. They had ventured off to find some food and water while I foolishly jumped out onto the precipice. I’ll never forget my brother’s look of confounded wonder as they found me stuck on the cliff. Gregg has literally had to save my life more than once so perhaps this was not completely unexpected.
Risking his own life, Gregg leaned over the cliff with an outstretched arm as Paul held onto his belt and leaned back to create a fulcrum. Gregg looked at me and calmly and confidently said, “I got you.” In one motion, I reached out, grabbed his arm, and Gregg pulled me over the ledge to safety. He then whacked me over the head – followed by a long embrace.
THANK YOU for being a part of LOGOI’s ministry. Your prayers and financial partnership are used to “equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). And along the way, we get to help and encourage some of us foolish “cliff jumpers,” too.