Rising Out of the Grave of Shame

“One day we will all stand before Jesus.”

I hated this phrase growing up. Every time I heard it, my stomach would drop, and the enemy would whisper in my ear, “You will be judged, and you will fall short.”

In my head, I always imagined standing alone before a throne as my good deeds were dumped in one bucket and my sins were read out loud and dumped in another bucket.

I tried hard to make my good outweigh my bad, but I knew the devil had a trump card because from the age of eight I struggled with an addiction to pornography. I used to cry every time I thought about that sin being brought up before a Holy God, and I knew it would outweigh any good deeds I could ever do.

But it you are reading this and struggling with a hidden sin—feeling like the devil has a trump card on you—I have some good news: That’s not how the Gospel works.

Our sins don’t go in a bucket.

They go on a cross.

All of your sins—even the ones that you never thought you’d be able to say out loud and the ones that used to burn a hole of humiliation in your gut—were nailed to the cross with our Savior. And when you truly believe that, sin loses its power over you.

John calls Jesus our advocate—the one who argues our case in front of the judge (1 John 2:1). One day as I was meditating on this verse, I saw a new picture of Judgement Day:

I was still standing by myself before the throne, but this time—before my good and bad deeds could be laid out—Jesus put out His hand and said, “Wait. She’s one of Mine.”

Learning the truth about the Gospel changed my life. None of my good deeds could secure my salvation, but Christ’s finished work on the cross did. The idea of finally meeting my Savior face to face no longer leaves me feeling condemned. Instead, it is the most joyfully anticipated day of my life.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” —Romans 8:1

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