New year. New beginnings. New resolutions. New word of the year. New you. New routines. New goals. New everything, am I right?! But what about that weird gap in the number on the calendar where last year’s things are now this new year’s things too? We can’t hide from them. We can’t pretend like they don’t exist. But, a new year means a fresh start, right? So, where do those messy, undone things belong?
With Jesus. Jesus bridges that weird gap. There is no space He cannot fill. There is no brokenness He cannot mend. There is no calendar year when He misses a deadline. There is no sin He will forsake you for. The way we will live out this new year has nothing to do with the fresh start it brings or the things that followed us in. It has everything to do with Who we live it with and Who we live it for.
In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve are afraid and hiding from the Lord, completely aware and ashamed of their sinful disobedience. This was their first time ever feeling this way—separated from God.
Before sin, they lived in an intimate, moment-by-moment relationship with God. Days once filled with awe and wonder of Him in the joy of His presence were now tainted in shame and fear. Why?
Sin entered. And instead of being filled with excitement at the sound of His voice, they were filled with fear and hid.
In John 21, some of the disciples were fishing after Jesus’ death – one being Peter. Peter’s last interaction concerning Jesus had been denying Him and then running away in fear and shame. So when Jesus calls to them from the shore, you kind of expect Peter to hang back in fear and shame. But instead, Peter immediately tears off his outer clothes, jumps in the water and swims to shore. He couldn’t get into the presence of Jesus fast enough.
His response to the voice of Jesus calling to him is in stark contrast to Adam and Eve’s response to the voice of God calling to them. Why?
Jesus entered. Not only did He enter, He lived a sinless life, died a gruesome death and destroyed the power of sin and death through His resurrection. The final sacrifice was made. The veil was torn. Death was defeated for good.
And Jesus bridged the gap.
If Jesus did only that and nothing else, it would be more than enough for you and me. But He didn’t stop there.
He removed the shame of sin and the fear we sometimes carry of being in God’s presence because of our sin.
Jesus bridged the gap.
Instead of living in shame, we can walk confidently in the hope we have in Christ. Instead of hiding in fear, we are able to securely rest in His presence.
Jesus bridged the gap.
If I’m being completely honest, I sometimes sit in my shame and fear. I sometimes beat myself up over my sin or tell myself I’m not “good enough” to do what God has called me to do. I sometimes hide from God. I sometimes run from His voice calling to me. I sometimes think that doing “more good things” and “less bad things” will bridge the gap. I sometimes forget that it’s not about me and what I do or don’t do, but what Jesus already did for me.
God didn’t intend for there to be separation between us, so He sent His Son to bridge the gap. We don’t have to hide in shame and fear. We can tear off whatever holds us back and run into the presence of God where our sins are erased, our shame is lifted, and our fear is replaced with peace. A new year can’t give us that. A fresh start won’t erase our mess. Only the presence of Jesus in our life can. So, whether you find yourself full of expectant hope and joy or you’re weighed down by what you carry or maybe a little of both, remember…
Jesus bridges the gap.
Article written by Lauren Diggs – a She Works His Way Leader and Teacher