The world sees things in a different way than God does. Often what the world describes as serious failures, God loves to save, to confound unbelievers. Let us look at some examples of people who apparently messed up, but their lives were changed by Jesus.
# Biblical examples of people who messed up
- Abraham. Twice he used his wife to save his own skin when he was afraid – the servants of the ruler took Sarai into the king’s harem1(God saved her both times). Yet God called Abraham his friend. He believed God and the promised son was born.
- Moses. He was discouraged because his people would not believe he came to save them. His defence on behalf of an Israelite was a failure, and he had to flee the country to save his life. In Midian he looked after sheep and had mostly sheep to talk to for 40 years. Then God called him and he, with the help of God, freed the Israelites from slavery. 2
- King David. He was a successful soldier and loved the Lord, but he messed up when he seduced the wife of his trusted soldier, Uriah. When his attempt to hide it failed, he had her husband killed. His punishment caused devastation in his family. He repented and God used him mightily to prepare the temple worship and gather material for the construction of the temple by his son Solomon. 3
- Paul. He was the bright Pharisee who killed Christians and thought he did God a favour. God called him in a somewhat unconventional way, and he did great things in Jesus’ name. 4
- Peter. Jesus warned him that he would betray Him. What did he do? Betrayed Him three times. Yet Jesus restored him and he became a powerful witness for His Master. 5
So the list goes on.
# What about Jesus?
His leaders, the high priest, rabbis and teachers of the law hated Him. 6 The Romans thought Him of so little consequence, they mostly ignored Him. People saw His apparently frugal life without a house, horse or smart clothes. He walked on foot and was asked to leave a place more than once. 7 On the Cross it looked as if He had missed His entire calling.
# What did God do to Jesus?
Scripture says it all, ‘God has made this Jesus whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.’ 8 The Cross made the difference. That suffering on our behalf gave Him the honoured position at God’s right hand in glory, honour, majesty, adoration, veneration and praise. 9 He is endowed with all titles and honour that can be given. Myriads of angels care for Him and billions of people He saved, love and adore Him. Why? Because He did what His Father asked Him to do. 10
# What does the example of Jesus teach us?
The Cross makes the difference. The Cross produces ‘successes.’ As Jesus is with God, so those who made mistakes and repented, will be with God eternally. 11
# Remember: The Blood of Jesus has no barriers.
- The blood of Jesus dripping from the Cross is colour blind, gender blind, status blind. To understand the wide range of Jesus’ blood, look at the Israelites when God killed the first born of the Egyptians. They were commanded to smear the blood of a lamb on the doorposts of their houses to escape the death of their first born. 12
- They were from different tribes, of which Jacob gave different prophecies. 13 The Levites were specially called to care for God’s tabernacle. There were leaders, elders, young men, old men, women and children.
- Who was excluded? Only those who refused to paint the blood on their door frames. For the rest, they were all saved by the powerful hand of God, led through the Red Sea and to the border of the promised land.
The Blood of the Saviour saves all people who want to be saved. It has no favourites.14 Anyone who applies the blood of Jesus on the doorposts of his or her heart is welcomed in God’s Kingdom. That is the glory of our King. He calls the ordinary to serve the Extraordinary. In that process the ordinary also become extraordinary.
- Genesis 12:10-20; 20:1-17
- Exodus 2-6
- 2 Samuel 11; 1 Chronicles 28-29
- Acts 8:1-3; 9:1-19
- Luke 22:31-34; 54-62
- Mark 10:33-34; 11:18
- Luke 4:14-30; Mark 5:1-17
- Acts 2:36
- Acts 7:55-56
- Luke 22:42
- Revelation 21:3-4; 22:4,9
- Exodus 12:12-13
- Genesis 49
- Romans 2:11