Jesus and My Past
Sometimes my past haunts me. I’ve been a believer for nearly ten years and barely recognize the woman I was before Jesus plucked me out of darkness and gave me a new heart. Yet, in the quiet hours of the night when sleep is nowhere to be found, I see her. I see her chasing after lust and longing for satisfaction in male attention. I see her being rejected, used, and abused. And I remember how she crafted idols out of men, how she flaunted her impurity like it was a trophy.
The Body of Christ is filled with women who’ve struggled with sexual sin—whether it’s sexual intimacy outside of marriage, pornography, lustful thoughts, homesexual thoughts and actions, or masturbation. Even when they have repented of sexual sin, many women still feel buried by the grief of past offenses.
When the memories of my own sin flood my mind, I wonder: Could I truly be declared pure after all of that? Certainly not after all I’ve done, Lord.
Have you ever felt that way? You look at the way you’ve sinned in the past and think you’re beyond redemption. As much as you long to believe the culture’s theme song that “you are worthy,” you’ve seen your heart—the things you’ve done and the thoughts that have entered your mind. Many of us come face to face with our unworthiness of grace and fear we might be too far gone—a lost cause, even.
The truth is, we are unworthy. We are deserving of the shame brought on by our sin. But do you remember what Scripture says about our sin, and therefore our shame?
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)
Our Savior bore our sin and shame in his own body on the cross. Jesus bore our grief and sorrow; he was pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:4-5). He received our chastisement, bringing us peace with God the Father (Isaiah 53:5; Romans 5:1). His soul made an offering for our guilt (Isaiah 53:10). And his work atoned for our sin, that we might stand in God’s courtroom, and though we cannot offer the plea “not guilty” we can plead “righteous in Christ.”
If you are in Christ, you no longer stand guilty before God for your past sin because you stand in Christ alone. You don’t need to carry the weight of shame on your back. Jesus carried it for you and left it at the cross.
Lost Sheep and the Good Shepherd
There are no lost causes in the Kingdom of God. Only sheep who’ve gone astray. But God always goes after his sheep. Jesus came to die for them. He says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). The sheep aren’t saved on the basis of their own works, but by the perfect life, redeeming death, and victorious resurrection of the Good Shepherd.
Do you hear freedom echo in that truth? If our works have nothing to do with our salvation and everything to do with our Savior’s work on the cross, then is there anything or anyone his blood can’t purify? Is there a sin too powerful and wicked to be defeated by his grace? Is there a sinner too corrupt to be made into a new creation by the omnipotent God?
Oh, praise the Lord with me, sisters! The answer to all of those questions is certainly not! No matter what sexual sin you’ve committed in the past or feel stuck in today, freedom awaits when you repent and experience the forgiveness of God.
This doesn’t mean there isn’t action on our part. We must turn away from our sin and turn toward Jesus, our only hope. We must rebel against our sinful flesh, putting our armor on and fight by the power of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6:10–18).
White as Snow
Jesus is mighty to save. And no matter what you or I have done, if we have repented of our sin and trusted in him alone to save us, we are dead to sin and alive in Christ (Romans 6:1–14)! 1 John 3:3 says, “Everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”
Have you hoped in Jesus alone to save you? Then you, my friend, are pure. You’re a new creation; the old is gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). Your scarlet sins, the ones that haunt you, your most wicked thought, are washed in the blood of the Lamb and made white as snow.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
A Perfect Plea
One of the tactics of the enemy is to cause believers to take their eyes off of Jesus, “the author and perfecter of our faith,” and focus on our sinfulness (Revelation 12:10; Hebrews 12:2). When my past haunts me, when the girl I used to be partners with Satan to condemn me, I respond, “Jesus is my only plea.”
Jesus—our advocate, our propitiation, our Savior and friend (1 John 2:1; Romans 3:25; 1 John 4:14; John 15:15). By his life, death, and resurrection, we are saved and made pure. His blood cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7). We can join the chorus singing confidently, “The blood of Jesus speaks for me!”
Jesus is our only plea.
Meet the Author:
Brittany Allen is a follower of Christ, wife to James, and mama to Theodore and three babies lost through miscarriage. She longs to encourage women to think and live biblically, making Christ their ultimate Treasure in every circumstance. Follow her on Instagram and find more of her writing on her blog at https://brittleeallen.com/.