Easter is a particular time we set as a celebration of our God of the gospel—Christ dying on the cross for the payment of our sins, God accepting Jesus’ payment by raising Him from the dead, and the Holy Spirit’s transformative work in our lives for righteousness. One of the beautiful impacts of Easter on my life took form as I reflected on a particular incident.
One evening my eye began to hurt. My eye would go from feeling normal, to hurting, to back to feeling normal. After about 18 hours, I had someone look at my eye to see if anything was on it. An eyelash was slowly being embedded in the tissue around my eye. My body was taking this object into its system and being negatively affected by it. Upon the removal of the eyelash, my eye returned to normal.
This incident reminded me of sins in my life. Sometimes I am more aware of their existence and other times I am not; however, my flesh tries to incorporate them. It takes removing the sin to alleviate the painful effects. Patterns of sin can exist undetected until we become aware of their negative effects.
The Lord opened my eyes and heart to a pattern of sin. In reading Isaiah 40:2, “that her sin has been paid for,” I was reminded that Christ is the payer of sins. In view of Christ being the payer of sins, I (nor anyone else) is the payer of sin. Then the Holy Spirit convicted me that I was trying to get other people to pay for their offenses against me by punishing them. My punishment for them came in the form of avoiding them or withholding love. I have a high need for justice (as does God); sins should be paid for. What I was doing was vengeance; they hurt me so I will hurt them back. However, vengeance belongs to the Lord (Rom 12:19).
I wanted to get justice, but there is one lawgiver and judge (God) not me (Jas 4:12). He knows all and has the only perfect perspective. Justice was actually done upon the death of Jesus as He paid for sins (Isa 53:4-6; 1 Pet 2:24). Sins have been taken care of completely.
I realized vengeance was a trait I saw in my mother and grandmother. Confessing the sin of taking justice into my own hands brought cleansing. I desperately need Him to enable me to forgive and allow Him to take care of other’s sins, or what I perceive as sins, in the way He deems best.
So, I repented and turned to God. The point of transformation/sanctification is where we recognize our sin as God does, cry out to Him for forgiveness and power to live a righteous life before Him. He revealed that part of the problem is I am easily offended by certain people. Some new habits He is working in me is giving the benefit of the doubt, returning good for evil, thinking about the good they do, realizing I do similar things, and forgiving.
Just like the eyelash that irritated my eye, vengeance had begun to be a part, yet painful part, of my life. I am hopeful as I look to God to release me from this stronghold of vengeance. “Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases” (Psa 103:2-5).
With whom do you find yourself wanting justice by inflicting pain (hurtful words or actions)? One of the impacts of Easter is that Christ has paid for our sins so justice has been done! Confess your sin so you can be healed and empowered to be released from extracting justice in order to love the person in front of you as God commands. Celebrate Easter this year by believing Christ has completely paid for sins (yours and others)! Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Image from https://pixabay.com/photos/cross-christ-religion-easter-4062996/, accessed March 31, 2023.