In John 1:27, John the Baptist declared that there was One coming after him; One to be preferred; One whose sandal strap John was not worthy to loosen. Then we read in John 1:29:
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
John’s introduction of Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah, wasn’t as King or by some lofty title, but as “The Lamb of God.” The One who would take away the sin of the world.
Jesus came to save and to rescue us. To die for us and then give us the opportunity and the free will to decide to follow Him. He came motivated by love for us. The Bible tells us He loved us first, even while we were yet in sin! It was love that caused Jesus to leave His throne and be born as a baby, walk this earth as a man, live a sinless life and then be put to death, bearing our shame, and paying our penalty. All to set us free because He loves and cares for us.
Those that follow Jesus aren’t forced, are not controlled, are not manipulated, or threatened. When I chose to follow Christ, I responded to His unconditional and freely given love. He loved me first.
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus himself declared His purpose:
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” LUKE 4:18-19
Oh, the wonderful work He has in store for all those who follow Him! He starts by speaking good news to our ears that have been deprived of truth and love. When we respond, He begins in the most important place. Our hearts.
He heals us in our hearts. Removes the wounds, softens the hardness, and sets us free to love again. It’s amazing how well we see when our hearts are healed. How funny it is to be blind for so long and not even know it until the day that God Almighty takes the time, by our invitation, to touch our hearts. We see again.
We are free again. The weight of our hurts and wounds, the weight of our sin and past mistakes is lifted off us. We experience liberty. Real liberty that is free from fear, and full of hope and peace. We come to understand that not only does God care, He has a good, acceptable, and perfect plan for us. Then we understand that now is the acceptable year of the Lord!
Be encouraged – God loves you!