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[ that thing called surrender ]


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Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and ashes of a young cow could cleanse peoples' bodies from ritual defilement. Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our hearts from deeds that lead to death so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered Himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 9:14, NLV).

After watching the whipping, the beating, the nails driven into Christ's hands, and the blood draining from His mouth, I now have a visual understanding of His cleansing sacrifice. I now understand, more than ever, the honor it is to have His blood. We may now enter the Holy of Holies, approach Him without fearing death, and worship Him in that sacred place, all because of the blood. Such a new love for Him; such thankfulness.

I sobbed throughout the film, but not just from seeing the violence exercised against Him. I watched my Savior voluntarily allow the authorities to take Him into custody. He willingly endured curses and mockeries. He stood to His feet after a season of whipping that would have floored any other man. The soldiers didn't throw Him onto the cross; Jesus voluntarily crawled over, His skin in pieces, pebbles and sand mixing into the open wounds. He lived out what He preached: "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep" (John 10:11, NLV).

He walked to Calvary because He loves us. He didn't want to spend eternity without us. I renewed my vow to follow Him in that crowded theater. The very least I can do in response to such love is die to my desires and take on His desire as my own. The very least I can do is give Him my entire life. Isn't that what He's wanted all along? Our everything?
- Hollie Stewart
March 2004

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