Every evening this week we have lit the candles and followed the Trail to the Tree. During the day I fight exhaustion and my short temper and lose the battle more times than I care to remember. As the sun sets and the shadows flicker in our dining room I bow my head over the words. I linger in wonder at the price that was paid. My sin is real, I have seen its damage. I have felt its blackness in my heart. Sin is no mere theory when I see the hurt in my sons eyes that is caused by my harsh words. And yet I continue to spew them anyway. That breaks me. I cannot rationalize that selfishness away. I feel that the battle between my sin and my desire to truly serve and honor God in all I do will tear me apart.
On Friday evening my voice breaks as we read from the Jesus Storybook Bible. The simple, profound description of Jesus’ love keeping him on the cross. God, the Papa, turning away from His Boy. The earth splitting as God’s wrath came down to destroy sin without destroying his children. Then, “It is finished.”
I marvel that the curtain has been torn in two, from top to bottom, and with trembling heart I step into the presence of the Most Holy One. There is holy ground here between the dinner crumbs and impatient voices and sibling squabbles. Even as I grieve the consequence of my sin I feel the finality of the victory, “It is finished.” I will continue to battle. Some days the light will shine lighter than others. But always there is the reminder, “It is finished.”
My sin has been destroyed on that cross. Every single bit of it. My old self is buried in the tomb and my new self’s heart is thumping wild with joy. “It is finished!”
“You died with the thieves but You were buried with the rich. And so You take us sinning thieves, and offer us the inheritance of riches, unending, in God. Like Mary Magdelen and the other Mary, we sit opposite Your tomb, and we never leave, but live here. For continually we bury our sins, and, as surely as we breathe, we inhale the hope of what will happen at this tomb on Resurrection Sunday.” -Ann Voskamp, Trail to the Tree