I was fifteen years old, lying in the middle of the bedroom floor with my Bible open in front of me, my watery eyes fixed on the red print. I’d heard the story before. In fact, I’d heard it many times. I knew of the abuse, the hatred, the physical suffering and the ugly death that Jesus endured. And I knew that he endured it for me. But in that moment it became more than a fact that I recognized as truth, it became reality for me.
A perfect and sinless God, dressed in human flesh that bruises and bleeds, laid his life down willingly so that sinner me would be spared an eternity of torment. Spared an eternity apart from Him.
It moved me.
It humbled me.
But what happened?
How did I get from there to here?
How did it become less and less important? How did the core of my faith, the point of the gospel become less meaningful?
Downward spirals are not necessarily a rapid descent, but often gradual, so slow and subtle we don’t see it happening. I didn’t. One too many hard times can harden us. The cares of this life, the disappointments, the suffering, even the pleasures the world offers make it a challenge not to lose our zeal.
But I’m up for a change, a revisiting of my youthful awe of what Christ did for me. Whether I leave this earth by death, rapture, or in a chariot of fire, I want my preceding days to have been lived with a heart still stirred by wonder and humility over God’s greatest gift.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17