MAY IT ECHO
Let the whole world know
This is not how the story ends
April 16, 2023 // Tim Hoffman
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
– 2 Corinthians 5:17
What an amazing display of love Christ showed when He took our place upon the cross, and willingly laid down His life for mankind. He took upon Himself the debt that we owed, but would never be able to repay and paid the price for us.
It’s both beautiful and gut wrenching to think of what Jesus did for me. Beautiful that He loved me enough to lay it all down for someone like me and gut wrenching to think of what my sin cost the Son of God. The lashings He took, the nails that were driven into His hands and feet, the blood that poured from His head as a crown of thorns was driven into His head.
He knew my faults and failures, my sin, my rejection of His grace and yet He still chose to die. He died. For me. For you. For everyone. He took a brutal beating making Him utterly unrecognizable, and died a horrific and gruesome death. He died. Willingly, selflessly, He died.
But that is NOT where or how the story ended. Not even close. You see, the devil thought that’s where it ended, and I’m sure there was a party in Hell celebrating their “victory.” That is, until that same Lamb that was crucified, showed up, very much alive, as the Lion of Judah, and snatched the keys of death, Hell and the grave from the grip of the enemy. Oh yes, the story was far from over.
The crucifixion was a chapter in the story, a necessary and crucial one, but a new chapter was about to begin. That stone, it had to move. And emerging from a now empty tomb was the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, resurrected just as He said He would be. Thank God the story was not over.
So, all of that to say this, your story is not over. You may be at the end of yourself, you may have hit rock bottom as you are reading this, but what’s beautiful is there is still time to decide this is not where or how your story ends. Not even close.
To you, backslidden Christian, the Lukewarm Christian, the timid Christian that has not reached their full potential in this race, your story does not have to end like this. You may have wasted years and chapters of your life, wrestling with doubts or sin, but it’s not too late. Today, right now, can be that moment. To end this chapter, and then turn the page and begin to write the next one, full of testimonies, hope, life and impact.
Because of Christ’s death and His resurrection, we are able to live an overcoming and impactful life, through Him. But it starts with you. Choose today, to surrender that which you haven’t let go. Reject the doubts, the fear, the thoughts of death, whatever garbage the devil has been whispering into your ear. Reject it, and turn to the words that God has spoken over you. Surrender that thing you can’t let go of. Let go of the unforgiveness or the sin that has made you a prisoner for far too long. Cry out to God for Him to set you free from addiction and bondage and He will.
It’s time to begin that new chapter. Become fearless. Not because of anything we are, but because of who Christ is. And once you give your heart to Him, He erases the old and begins the new. And that same power that raised Christ from the dead will be inside of you. So there is not a mountain, a giant, an obstacle, or demon of hell you should fear. Close the chapter of death and fear, anxiety and depression and allow Christ to turn the page and fill your story with Joy and an abundant life.
The choice is yours, you can keep going on whatever course you are in, stuck in the same strongholds or status quo. You can let your past or current struggles and mistakes define you, OR you can decide that this is not how the story ends.