Easter: The Ultimate Second Chance

Growing up I had a hard time listening to the Easter story. We would dress up in our Sunday best of pretty spring colors and head to church, where they told me about a perfect man. A sinless man. The Son of God. They told me how he hung on a tree, broken, bruised, and beaten.
I didn't get it. A perfect savior, dying a horrible bloody death? The imagery stuck with me, and even to this day breaks my heart. It just seemed so sad.
The problem was, I couldn't see past the cross. I imagined Jesus nailed there. Bleeding. Crying out to His father for mercy. And as my heart broke guilt would kick in. "He's up there because of me. Because of my sin. Yet I still can't get it right. He died for me, and I still let him down on a daily basis."
You see, I was missing the message of the cross.
Yes, Jesus was bruised and beaten. There's no denying that happened on the cross was ugly… but only on the surface.
Because as Jesus breathed his last breath, grace kicked in. A glorious, unrelenting, undeserving grace.  He died so that we never have to. He rose again so that we can spend eternity in His embrace. As He took his last breath, He took our sins with him. He took our mistakes. He took our brokenness and he nailed it to the cross.


And here's the hopeful part about it. While He was on the cross, He knew we would mess up. He knew we would still sin. But He also knew how much He loved us. He knew we would need a second chance, a third chance, and sometimes a millionth chance. And he made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could have it.
And he's inviting us to come to Him. Come as we are right now. Not to come when we stop sinning, when we have it all together, or when life stops hurting.
"…and by his wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5
With that realization, I finally get it...
What happened on the cross was beautiful.
What happened on the cross gave us the ultimate second chance.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!  2 Corinthians 5:17