Published on October 10th, 2018 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
A REASON TO CELEBRATE
by Taffi Dollar
For many, life may consist of a series of painful struggles and setbacks. We can become accustomed to the “one step forward, two steps back” syndrome of trying to make progress. Living like this may be acceptable in the world, but it’s not what God wants for us. Discovering exactly what He does want for us gives us a reason to celebrate.
Jesus shed His blood and died on the cross to redeem us from barely scraping by in life, and to offer us new lives on a higher level. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14). To be redeemed is to be free from whatever distresses or harms us, or to be released from blame. Up to this point, we may have been suffering in self-condemnation for past mistakes we made. However, God has already forgiven us; all we need to do now is forgive ourselves.
We can stop beating ourselves up for what we’ve done wrong because Jesus took all the blame that was meant for us. This forgiveness we have through Him has a healing effect that permeates our entire consciousness and lets us see life in a whole new light. We don’t have to be afraid of God’s wrath or think that He intends to punish us. He punished Jesus for the sins of the whole world, including ours, and now He’s offering the olive branch of peace. “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10).
We’re redeemed from feelings of inferiority and rescued from always losing out. Always coming in last and never being good enough isn’t God’s will for us. Jesus’ death and resurrection changed all that. “If you listen to these commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today, and if you carefully obey them, the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom” (Deuteronomy 28:13, NLT). In the Old Testament, obeying meant performance and self-effort, but obedience now means to believe in what Jesus did for us.
We’ve also been delivered from fear. Whether it’s fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of what others think of us, or anything else that makes us anxious or timid, fear holds us back from moving forward and doing what we’re called to do. In the Old Testament, fear was what motivated people, but Jesus loved us enough to rescue us from fear. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). We’re strengthened and empowered when we believe this.
God wants the best for us at every level. We’ve been freed from our old lives and offered something new and better. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). We can confidently celebrate our redemption from what used to hurt and hold us down, and joyfully accept the freedom God offers us through Christ.