Recently, I caught the last five or ten minutes of one of his sermons. Nestled inside was a tidbit about wrestling with the times we’ve really blown it in the past. He was talking about the power of what happened on the cross as he strode across the floor in front of the packed sanctuary. Then he plants his feet and in his booming voice he lets us all know what to tell the Devil when he brings up our past to shame us:
“Behold,” Jakes cries out in his deep, full baritone as he thrusts out his arm and points a decisive finger to a mental vision of Calvary, “the Blood of the Lamb!”
Those words have stuck with me, and I’m amazed at the sense of peace and freedom it brings when I meditate on them. There is something in me that fights against accepting the truth that I am washed white as snow, that my sins—past, present and future—are flung from me as far as the east is from the west, buried at the bottom of the sea. Something inside me argues against the truth that Jesus’ blood has swept through my veins and cured me. Yet that simple, powerful phrase brings that truth home for me: I am free.
But I am not only freed from something but to something: in Jesus, I am freed to be who God designed me to be. I am made new—and he’s continually restoring and renewing me, teaching me to live in this new life. And those words fill me with a love and gratefulness that I want to spill out on everything and everyone around me.
Until next time, Bishop. Blessings.