“The soldiers therefore … ‘DIVIDED MY OUTER GARMENTS AMONG THEM, AND FOR MY CLOTHING THEY CAST LOTS.'” – John 19:23-24
“Mom! Don’t let Gramma Weeze see me mak-ed!”
As a small chap, one of my sons uttered this cry. He was horrified at the thought of being seen without any clothes or pajamas covering him. I documented his words because the expression “mak-ed” was so cute and made me smile. But pondering his comment on a deeper level leads me to something people intrinsically possess: fear of complete exposure.
I’m not talking about exposure in the physical sense–I’m contemplating the fear of people seeing who we really are. What’s really inside. Our thoughts … our sins. Because we don’t want to be rejected, this frightful possibility prevents us from being real. And we lose out. Deeper relationships with our Christian brothers and sisters remain out of reach. The closeness we long to enjoy with our family in Christ eludes us like the proverbial carrot dangling from a string.
How can we change?
While Jesus hung on the cross, soldiers claimed parts of his clothing for themselves. Which means He was hanging up there … naked. Maybe He at least retained some sort of undergarment–I don’t know. But the humiliation of what He endured on our behalf surpasses my comprehension. The King of kings and Lord of Lords–stripped–and crucified for all to see.
When the Holy Spirit helps us understand the depths Jesus went to secure our freedom from sin … the horror He suffered so we don’t have to … His love that’s ours and can never be taken away … we gain confidence to practice transparency amongst others. God sees every part of us and forgives us based on our faith in Christ. No matter how others see us, we are “accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6)–truly a freeing thought.
That’s how we change.
Despite past failures or current struggles, “… where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin” (Hebrews 10:18). Jesus’ blood covers us! As we claim our identity in Christ, theHoly Spirit changes us.
We don’t need to live in fear of complete exposure. In Christ and by the Holy Spirit’s power, we are covered and changed.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” – James 5:16