Wednesday, April 9, 2008
"And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Revelation 21:2
This is the gospel's answer to our shame. Every one of us knows the shame of guilty self-awareness and the fear of exposure. But we don't want to live in the isolation of that darkness. We long for freeing relationships with others, especially God. But without the gospel, we hide, conceal, falsify ourselves, in order to appear better than we are. Or, conversely, we may trot out our failings with assertive self-display, demanding acceptance -- a more modern response.
The gospel says, "Your shame is real, even more real than you know. But this is what God has done. He put it all onto Christ at the cross, where your Substitute was utterly shamed and exposed and condemned for you. Now your shame no longer defines you. What defines you, what reveals your future forever, is this word: '. . . adorned . . . .' Not shamed. Adorned. Lovely. Attractive. And the moment is coming when he will look into your eyes with glad adoration, and you will look into his eyes with confident surrender. And nothing will ever, ever spoil it again."