Picture something in your mind for a moment: imagine you are standing in front of a pile of your sin. Everything you have ever done that destroys relationships and everything you have ever done to try and cover or fix your shame. I see a huge pile like a garbage dump out of control. Imagine you are standing there, in front of this stinking mountain of transgression and you suddenly notice Jesus. He’s there and you can see him and he can see you. Where do you picture him standing? What is his facial expression?
Many of us will picture him standing on the other side of the pile-- with a sad and disappointed look on his face--waiting for us to wade through the pile of sin to get to the other side and be with him. I picture him tapping his foot or playing games on his phone as he waits.
1John 4:18-19 says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment...We love because he first loved us.” Jesus loved you first and since the beginning of time. His love, when we choose to trust it, drives out any fear of punishment or impatience on his part. Go back to your pile of sin and try this: picture Jesus standing next to you. His arm is around you and he has a suspicious smile on his face. He looks at you with that silly smile and says, “You’ve been busy!”. Then he laughs and a feeling of safety and calm washes over you.
Jesus knows your sin is forgiven. He wants you to know it as well. There may be consequences and pain mixed into that pile of sin. Jesus stands with you before it, faithful to walk alongside you and infinitely patient with the process of restoring messy relationships and melting away your shame. If you feel like sin is a barrier between you and God, hold onto this picture in your mind. Know that there is nothing upsetting to him about your sin. He knows and understands and will walk with you to the ends of the earth--loving you and maybe teasing you a little because he is light hearted and filled with joy about you.