Today’s Bible readings can be found here: Jeremiah 9:1-11 and Galatians 2:11-21.

Galatians 2:21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! (NIV)

            Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night and I remember an embarrassing mistake or something foolishly spoken that I committed years ago. The event or the expression I used stings my pride and I feel sorry for having said or done something stupid that may have hurt or disappointed other people. As I think about my mistake, I wish I could go back and change the past, but that’s not ever going to happen, so I make a silent prayer to God and ask for Jesus to forgive me. I cannot alter the consequences of my error either, but I am able to leave it in the hands of God after confessing my sin.

            This reminds me of why we all need a Savior. We could say to God that we regret the past and will try to be better people by making it up to Him with a whole load of good deeds, but all we would be doing is covering our shame and blanketing our remorse. We can never do enough good things anyway because there are other countless times when we have said or done something stupidly and selfishly sinful in all of our past.

            It is also the reason why the Cross is at the center of our faith. Without Christ’s sacrifice, we would sadly remain unforgiven for the numerous sinful moments across our entire lives. Without the effective work of the Cross, we could never be restored to God’s gracious love. If we could do this all by ourselves then, as Paul simply states, Jesus would have died for nothing, but because we cannot save ourselves, we need the power, purpose, and peace that the Cross of Christ provides for every one of us to be forgiven.

            So, perhaps the next time you or I awake in the middle of the night and recall an embarrassing or sinful moment from the past, instead of dwelling on our stupidity we should think about the wonderful opportunity to be totally forgiven and completely reconciled to God through Christ’s death on the Cross.

Point to ponder: What past regrets do I honestly have that still embarrass or shame me? Have I asked God to forgive me of them in Christ’s Name?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are at the center of history and the focus point of all this universe. Your Life matters to us in so many ways, but Your Death has significantly impacted us by negating our sins in order to let us be restored to our Creator. Thank You for such an amazing gift of love! In Your Holy Name, we humbly and gratefully pray. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s Good Friday drawings called ‘Empty Sky.’ If you would like to view a larger version, click this link: Sky.