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“The Truth Will Make You Cringe”

Jesus once said: “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you FREE.” As true as this is, there’s a spiritual process to get there. Our experience is very often: “The truth will make you CRINGE before it sets you free.”

In the days before Easter, we recall the most important and powerful events in the life of Jesus. On Palm Sunday, he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, proclaimed as King by the people, with shouts of “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who arrives in the name of the Lord!”

The TRUTH is: this king will soon be executed in a horrible, tortuous death! The music and joy of “HOSANNA” will soon turn into demands of “CRUCIFY HIM.”

The truth is that Jesus would not be praised for very long. The truth is that Jesus will be denied and betrayed by even his closest followers. The truth will make you CRINGE! The truth is that “death is at hand!” The Prince of Peace was about to be executed! The Good Friday truth makes you cringe.

We ought to admit that we, too, have denied and betrayed the Lord. This admission should really make us cringe when we understand that Jesus died for our sins, our denials, our betrayals.

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But there’s something beyond the cringing. We don’t have to live there! We shouldn’t live there like a prisoner of our sins! This is what Jesus meant by his words: “The truth will set you free!” The truth is that God loves us. God is certainly disappointed with our betrayals, our apathy, our sin, our unfaithfulness. But the truth is: God loves us still.

The events leading up to Easter Sunday make us cringe: the beatings, the crown of thorns, the mockery, the execution, the crucifixion of our Lord! But beyond the cringing (remorse and guild), there is divine forgiveness, love, and peace.

By the events of Holy Week, we are reminded that God loves us. This is a good time to honor that truth! By the cross of Christ, God promises peace, healing, forgiveness, grace, and love. As God raised Jesus from the dead, God promises, by faith, to raise us out of the death of our sins.

May the blessings of Holy Week and Easter be with you. May you know the truth. May you be free in Christ Jesus! May you be free from your sin. May you have new life in Christ this Easter! And always!

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