Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”
Jesus communicates in many different ways that is unique for each of us. Jesus whispered an important truth to my heart, He said:
“I have come to set you free Cathy, will you let me?”
I was blown away, I mean are we talking about the same me? The flawed, broken, sinful and constantly failing me. Sure enough, Jesus was! And He wanted to help me with my struggles so I could have a freer and thus fuller life. I just needed to invite Him into the mess, the good, the bad and the ugly.
Mandy Hale, author of Beautiful Uncertainty, puts it this way: “What if He looks beyond the dirt and the muck and the filth and the garbage we’ve cluttered our lives with and sees only the beautiful, precious heart of His child beating underneath?”
Below is what Jesus showed me.
I see that I am being auctioned off, a slave bought for a price, I am dirty, my threadbare clothes are torn and my wrists are handcuffed. I shamefully stand silent as the crude auctioneer offers ridiculous prices not enough for a loaf of bread let alone a person. I gaze out at the crowd their eyes are cold and calculated I shudder inwardly to the many jeers of the rowdy crowd.
Then from the back of the crowd I see a man walking with purpose weaving through the crowd towards the makeshift stage. He is like no one I had seen before. His clothes fairly shone compared to the dusty and dirty surroundings. I looked to His eyes expecting to see disgust but to my surprise they were calm, wise and kind.
In a sure voice He spoke the most unbelievable words “I will buy her with my blood.” A divine price. A price I felt I didn’t deserve. My redeemer came forward and smeared the blood of His pierced hand on the ownership documents. I hung my head in shame, didn’t He know all the wrong I had done? The person I was? The jeering continued as I made my way through the crowd with the man I now knew as Jesus.
Jesus took me home and removed the restraints, He said “tonight we will have a great party.” I got to soak in the bathtub filled with bubbles and clean all the dirt and grit away. I had never seen myself so clean. I was provided with sweet smelling perfume, clothing fit for a princess. My hair was styled with braids and flowers. I felt beautiful but Jesus didn’t look surprised just pleased as if unearthing a priceless treasure.
The evening was delightful, full of feasting, dancing and laughter. As I was carried to bed, I thanked Jesus for the most wonderful evening, He just smiled lovingly, brushed the hair out of my eyes and said, “if you remain in me we can have many more days just like this one.” I fell into a restful sleep dreaming of the beautiful possibilities.
The next morning I decided to go to the market. Dressed in yet another outfit fit for a princess and a new sense of worth, I ventured out. The people from the crowd from the day before were at the market as well and as such the hurtful remarks continued one man pushed me hard sending me flying into a muddy puddle. Everyone laughed. My clothes were ruined. My hair clung to my face in a haphazard way. I felt ashamed. They reminded me of who I was. I returned home in tears.
Jesus found me shortly after huddled in the corner of the kitchen with torn, thread – bare clothes back in place complete with hand cuffs. Jesus crouched in front of me and with compassion asked why the chains were back in place. I told Him about the morning at the market saying this is who I was – a slave. Jesus said “I paid the price for you to set you free” with that He removed the chains once again.
What is holding you back from a freer, fuller life? I want to encourage you to see yourself as Jesus sees you – a treasure. Will you let Him set you free from the chains in your life?