November 24 I Sunday
1 Peter 1
“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” —Romans 5:8
There are times when we can be very hard on ourselves, because we know we have done something wrong––something terribly wrong. A cloud of guilt hangs over our heads, and we are grieved, thinking how ashamed Jesus Christ must be of us. But at these moments, it is a good time to remember that Jesus loves us.
There are occasions when very soon after people had sinned that they came face to face with Jesus. For example, on the night Jesus was arrested, Peter vowed he would die with Jesus if he had to. But Jesus warned Peter, before the rooster crowed, he would deny Him three times. Later that night, in the outer courtyard, Peter vehemently denied that he had been with Jesus to the third person. “Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter” (Luke 22:60-61, NIV). It was not a look of condemnation but one that loved and readily forgave him; this truth made Peter weep bitterly.
Other examples include the story of the Samaritan woman, found in the Gospel of John, retrieving water from a well. Jesus knew she had been married five times and was presently living with a man she was not married to. Yet, Jesus offered her living water with which she would never thirst again and it would become in her like a well, springing up to eternal life. There was also the rich young ruler who had no real interest in the truth or in Jesus, only in eternal life. Jesus knew his motives, but Mark tells us, “Jesus looked at him and loved him” (Mark 10:21).
Another occasion, the teachers of the law and Pharisees brought before Jesus a woman they wanted to stone to death because she had committed adultery and the Law of Moses demanded it. Jesus wrote something on the ground and said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7). One by one, her accusers left. “Has no one condemned you?” Jesus asked. “No one, sir,” she said, “Then neither do I condemn you….Go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:10-11).
The reaction of Jesus to people who had sinned was always one of love and compassion. While we were still outside of Christ, He died for us. How much more, when we are His children, indwelt by His Spirit, will Christ forgive and console if we come humbly to Him and confess our sin? Jesus loves us and the worst thing we can do is sit under a heavy blanket of condemnation when He has already died for the sin that grieves us.
Prayer: Lord, I do not feel worthy of your forgiveness and cleansing, but I am desperately in need of it. Thank You for your love, compassion and forgiveness.