I saw Jesus in a dream once. I turned around; and there He was, standing near a cottage on a cobblestone path lined with bright pink flowers, just talking to me. Instantly, I was on the ground consumed in the realization that He knew everything about me ... everything I'd ever done, and more sobering, everything I'd ever even thought. But despite this overwhelming feeling of being 'busted,' I noticed that Jesus didn't seem to be nearly as concerned about this shameful sense of 'sin awareness' as I was. He was just standing there talking to me ... not about the wrongdoings of my past, but about the plans for my future. He spoke about the great transition that was happening in my life at the time and gently acknowledged the very deepest part of my heart that no one else had seemed to truly understand. I had been lost in a maze of emotions back then and struggling for direction, yet He knew the exact path I needed to take and was more than willing to walk it with me.
English (or even human) words can in no way even begin to adequately express the depth of love and kindness that emanated from this man ... who, as it turns out, was much more realistically human-looking than I had previously imagined based on the emaciated images I'd seen in historical paintings and sculptures. I noticed that His face was rounder and his shoulders and arms were more muscular. Yet, for all His strength, He was soooo incredibly nice.
And He continued expounding to me ... undistracted, as if my sin was completely irrelevant to Him. And I wondered,
Why is Jesus so nonchalant about sin? Isn't it the one great chasm of division between us as mortal men and Him as Supreme God? It wasn't until much later that I finally realized the answer to this burning question that haunted me for so long. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. When we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us since He Himself bore our sins on the cross so that we might live guilt-free.
I've since come to observe in life that people flourish best in an environment of forgiveness. Heap judgment, rejection, and isolation on a man, and he will surely buckle helplessly under the weight of such heavy condemnation. Conversely, he who is freely granted forgiveness is in turn wonderfully equipped to love because where sin abounds, the beautiful glory of grace abounds exponentially even much more toward us.
Dare I say it? Jesus doesn't care about your sin. Not in the critically judgmental way that many people think He does, anyway. He's paid the price for our transgressions and removed them from us as far as the east is from the west so that God's powerful all-encompassing and unceasing great love might flow exceedingly abundantly toward us now and forever. And so, we have peaceful solace in the life-giving assurance that Jesus has secured our position as mightily beloved children of a perfect and holy God.
This is the love I know.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Jesus (Mark 11:28)