I say it over and over again for a week.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
~ Romans 8:1
It soaks into me in the first week of my journey to memorize Romans 8. This verse... the beginning... this verse I will say the most.
But how? How can this be?
I stand in the shower, rivulets running over my head, drops falling from the tip of my nose. And I ask.
How, Lord? How can it be that all our righteousness is as filthy rags and all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and no one does good, no not even one...
Yet there is now no condemnation? No guilt?
In the middle of the waterfall it comes.
A picture of a judge. And clarity.
No, my love, there is much guilt. I stand to determine guilt, and yes you are convicted. But precious child, I the Judge choose the punishment. And I do not condemn you.
For you are in my Son and He has already borne the punishment.
Conviction, but not condemnation.
Found guilty, but upon sentencing let go. No bond required. But the bond of love ties me up in Him and I am entangled and free at once.
I daren't ever pretend I am not guilty. For if I say I do not sin truth is not in me.
If I were to believe it to be true that I am not guilty how could I fall with abandon into the saving arms of Jesus? For what purpose would He have died?
This mystery, this walking with sin heavy, yet free in Christ, it astonishes me. It ties the bonds of love ever tighter, makes me yearn to shed the striving, to rest in His mercy. To lay myself down in all my brokeness at His feet, and just love Him.
For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
The water washes away the dirt of the day. Drips it right down the drain.
For if I have been set free, then I am free indeed.
flickr photo by walknboston