[CF Devotionals] 2008-01-02 - Dear Soldier

A little different approach to a devotional today than my usual rant. I have taken the liberty of composing a letter from Jesus to the soldier who pierced His side when He was on the cross. I have no intention to blaspheme here, but rather I hope to show in a somewhat vivid manner, the depth of the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Dear Soldier,

I am writing you personally because I know, if you understand who it is you have pierced, that you are probably living in fear. I want to tell you that my forgiveness is available to all. All who come to faith in my resurrection, and seek forgiveness of sin, are given eternal life (John 3:16). That life is for all who believe (John 6:47).

You might think that I would seek vengeance on those who crucified me. You probably think I wish to make an example of those who arrested, tried, condemned and crucified me. However, my thoughts are not your thoughts; neither are my ways the ways of man. I do not seek to avenge myself on those who spit on me, struck me, or mocked me. Rather, I seek that they would come to faith in me, and obtain forgiveness for their sins. I would make them examples of my mercy rather than my justice. I desire this for you, also.

In view of this, and to show this, I have directed my disciples to speak of the forgiveness of sins - beginning here in Jerusalem (Luke 24:47). It is here that I was rejected, but it is here that grace will first be offered. The very ones who drew my blood will be the first to hear of redemption through my blood (Eph. 1:7). Your wickedness to me caused wounds that led to my death for sin. That death atoned for sin, and now pleads before the Father, enabling me to provide forgiveness to all who seek it.

In piercing my side, you aimed at my heart, but there is another way of coming to my heart. If you repent of your sin, and look upon the one whom you have pierced (Zech 12:10), you will find that the blood you shed is a sufficient atonement for the act of shedding it. It will be a greater grief to me if you refuse this offer of forgiveness through my shed blood, than your actions were to me, in drawing my blood.

I am sending you my disciples, to convince you of the truth of this. What you meant for harm, the Father meant for good. Accept this grace of mine, which goes as far as sin abounds, and also brings eternal life to those who feel their sins are too great to be remembered no more.

I will not sign the letter, since I wrote it and not Jesus, but I think this puts in an interesting framework that the grace of Christ is really offered to all, even to those who feel their sin is too great for forgiveness. Christ's mercy extends to "whosoever," and that whosoever includes the one who pierced Christ's side, and you also if you are reading this.

Soli Deo Gloria,
T-

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