Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: The Cross (Lent Devotions)
This morning I watched Johnny Cash’s last music video of his career. It was a cover of a Nine Inch Nail’s song called “Hurt.” The video itself is one of the most powerful music videos you can find. As an old man, and after the death of his wife, the song became a ballad of a life full of pain and regret. Flashes of Jesus and His Passion appears on the screen as you see the pain on Johnny Cash’s eyes, giving you hope, but also seeing the true pain this main felt as his life neared it’s end.
The video itself, though, is not a full representation of how Cash felt at the end of his life. In a song entitled, “Ain’t No Grave,” a traditional gospel song recorded by Cash also at the end of his life, speaks of a blessed hope of his future in Christ.
“Well, meet me Jesus, meet me. Meet me in the middle of the air
And if these wings don't fail me I will meet you anywhere
Ain't no grave can hold my body down
There ain't no grave can hold my body down.”
This is why the Gospel is so amazing. We can look back on our life and feel the pain and regret from awful decisions we made. The pain is very real. I think all of us carry some of that with us today.
But the Gospel says this: there is hope for us today. And there is even a greater hope for the future. How so?
By the death of Christ, God has removed our sins from us.
“As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12
By the resurrection of Christ, we now have hope for a future life after this one. A future life that will not be filled with pain and sin, but filled with Jesus and all his glory, and the fullness of eternal joy for us.
“For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:20-21
The pain of our past sins may be real. But praise be to God - in Christ they no longer have their chains on our wrists. We are free and forgiven! And one day, we will be raised to new life in Jesus, fully redeemed. As Johnny Cash once sung,
"There is a train that's heading straight
To heaven's gate, to heaven's gate
And on the way, child and man,
And woman wait, watch and wait
For Redemption Day"
More in Pastor's Blog
November 22, 2017The Ancient Roots of Thanksgiving
November 10, 2017Having conversations with people who are not "Right, like ME"
October 31, 2017The Gospel and Race: On Earth as It Is in Heaven