Don't you hate it when a piece of your puzzle is missing? You spend hours searching, sorting, grouping, and slowly piece by piece your puzzle begins to come to life and you begin to see what it was intended to look like all along - and when you finally reach the end - you look for that last piece and nothing -
Where is that last piece?!
Did it fall on the floor? Did your dog eat it? Is your child or spouse hiding it on you so they can claim the victory in finishing the puzzle! It's just not complete until you have last piece!
Why? Because that's not how it's supposed to go - you must find that piece - to have peace.
I last spoke about how crucial it is for our healing process to acknowledge the reality of sin in this world and how it affects everyone - When sin entered the world, death came with it (Rom. 5:12).
There was an immediate Spiritual death that happened in the garden that day to Adam and Eve (Genesis 3)
Which brought about Physical death.
Which brought about Emotional death and Mental death.
Just like the creator of that puzzle - God envisioned how He wanted to create you. How you would look, how you would smile, how your laugh would sound, the color of your eyes and hair - whether curly or straight - blonde or brown - every amazing piece that makes you - you. You are a Masterpiece - Created in God's image. (Genesis 1:27)
Yet because sin entered the world - we don't always feel that amazing - we don't feel special - we don't feel like we have great value and worth to anyone, let alone God - and in the process we grow old, we get sick, and then we die. The consequence of sin is death at every level.
Remember dear one - If we can begin to accept that sin exists and is at the root of our pain - and is the cause of all suffering - whether by our own sinful choices or by another's sinful behavior and treatment towards us - that is a healthy first step.
We were designed by God in His own image (Genesis 1:27)
We are His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 8:4–6) and
We were designed to have a loving, safe, fulfilling relationship with our Abba Father, Creator God.
So how is Jesus the missing piece of our puzzle?
Jesus came for many reasons - but I want to focus on only a few for today.
1. Jesus came to bring us life - In (John 10:10), Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
What did sin bring with it? Death right? Remember the puzzle we are trying to finish off - finding that missing piece? Sin is a thief and destroyer of your puzzle - The thief of our "piece" and "peace" is the enemy of God - Satan, and the Lord Jesus Christ conquered death on the cross (Romans 6:23, Revelation 20:11-15.) He came to give of Himself. He came to bring us back to life so that we can live fully alive in Him starting today and life eternal with Him and His Father - filled with meaning, purpose, joy, and freedom.
2. Jesus came to set the captive free - (Luke 4: 16-21) tells us that "Jesus came to Nazareth where He had grown up" and that "He went into the Jewish place of worship on the Day of Rest." While He was there "He stood up to read," so "Someone handed Him the book of the early preacher Isaiah-" and "He opened it and found the place where it was written,
“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me. He has put His hand on Me
*To preach the Good News to poor people.
*He has sent Me to heal those with a sad heart.
*He has sent Me to tell those who are being held that they can go free.
*He has sent Me to make the blind to see and
*To free those who are held because of trouble.
*He sent Me to tell of the time when men can receive favor with the Lord.”
Then "Jesus closed the book. Then He gave it back to the leader and sat down. All those in the Jewish place of worship kept their eyes on Him. Then He began to say to them, “The Holy Writings you have just heard have been completed today.”
3. Jesus came to destroy Satan’s power - (Hebrews 2:14) tells us that "It is true that we share the same Father with Jesus. And it is true that we share the same kind of flesh and blood because Jesus became a man like us. He died as we must die. Through His death He destroyed the power of the devil who has the power of death." Read that last statement again - Jesus is our Savior! Jesus has won the victory for our freedom on our behalf! Jesus is the hero in all of our stories - we just need to put our trust in Him and acknowledge that we too are sinners in need of His saving grace - and the process of our freedom and healing and victory in the areas that hold us in bondage - will begin to unfold.
4. Jesus came to take away sin - There is no one here on earth that can remove the sting and stain of sin - only Jesus and that is why He is the missing piece to your puzzle - who will bring you wholeness and peace. "Jesus came to take away our sins," because, "there is no sin in him." (1 John 3:5)
5. Jesus came to help us know what and who is true - The more we open ourselves to the possibility and reality of God's love for us and His goodness and His truth - the sooner we will begin to experience hope that we can face our trials, over come our fears and pain, and begin a new life free from our past and baggage. (1 John 5:20) tells us that, "We know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life."
As we close for today, I want to share with you briefly of a man named Job - you can read more about him in the Bible - he has his own book. Job's story is one of great loss and intense pain - a story of a man who wrestled with trusting God after all he lost and the grief and pain he had to face and endure.
He had some good friends and some not so good friends who tried to give him advice in the midst of his suffering -
Here was the advice of one of his friends that I will leave you with today - though the pain you may be experiencing is not because of your own sin - after what we learned today - confessing your need for God's saving grace will still set you free.
“If only you would prepare your heart
and lift up your hands to him in prayer!
Get rid of your sins,
and leave all iniquity behind you.
Then your face will brighten with innocence.
You will be strong and free of fear.
You will forget your misery;
it will be like water flowing away.
Your life will be brighter than the noonday.
Even darkness will be as bright as morning.
Having hope will give you courage.
You will be protected and will rest in safety.
You will lie down unafraid,
and many will look to you for help."