A brilliant yellow-red light penetrates my closed eyes. With tears streaming down my face, I look up to see Jesus on the cross. He's not in the robe as I saw him before, but he's suffering. He's covered in blood. He's covered in dirt. His body heaves with each breath, but he does not choose to give up. He has chosen to listen to God and obey, and with this suffering comes great mourning from gatherers. I am bowed at the foot of the cross, weeping. I reach out to touch his bloodstained feet only with my fingertips. As I reach out, I am pulled back, zoomed out, if you will. Now I see the cross at the top of the hill from afar standing atop a dark and massive mountain of rubble.
I look at the hill, one I've seen as boulders and rubble in the past, with jagged crags and unsteady footholds. But this time, I look more carefully. I see luggage, suitcases, black garbage bags, backpacks, briefcases, purses, anything that would carry something. They mount up to make this hill, this huge hill. Piles and piles of bags. I realize the bags are staying right where they are, at the foot of the cross. But they aren't bags, they are sins. They are bondage. They are burdens and yokes. They are anything and everything that separate us from Jesus.
My attention goes back to the cross, and I look back to see him. He isn't there anymore. But I hear him as he speaks behind me. I turn to see him. He looks at me and says in a gentle voice, "I took your sins up there. Leave them at the foot of the cross. Come now, child. Dry your eyes, follow me." And a great strength rises up in me, and I get up from the ground and follow.
He has taken my past. He has taken my sin. He has taken my burdens. Now, I follow. I leave them at the cross. And his grace, which he has given me without any reason, without anything that I have done, is abounding in me. He conquered death to give me life. And He did this for you. Not for your praises, or good works. Not for your time or for payback.
2 Timothy 1:8b-10, "But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of out Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality through the gospel."
So leave that luggage. Those bags you've been carrying for so long. Stop making excuses and say, "Dear God, my Savior, my friend, thank you for taking my burdens. I leave them at the cross and I give them to you. I will not turn back to go get them again. They were destroyed when you gave your life for me. I receive the grace you give and I choose to follow you."
Be blessed today as you shed your burdens and follow Christ.