The Bible teacher Steve Brown likes to tell the story of a medieval Christian and learned man who fell upon hard times near the end of his life. Old and extremely sick, he was rescued from the street and brought to a hospital. Believing the man was unconscious, one doctor spoke to another, saying “What shall we do with this poor, worthless creature?”
Upon hearing this, the man raised up from his bed, and cried out, “Do not call that man worthless for whom Christ died!” If the crucifixion and resurrection are ever to truly take hold in our life and become more than historical events, we must appreciate this point.
We spend a huge chunk of our lives pursuing acceptance and approval from various sources : our parents, our spouses, our children, our friends, our bosses. We wrestle with self-esteem and self-worth. We spend our lives seeking to establish our significance, and the nature of the quest is that we can’t quite do it alone.
It is rare that we fully confess how desperately we crave this affirmation and approval; we don’t want others to glimpse our need. But God sees it, and knows its origin and its solution. The “God-shaped vacuum,” as Augustine observed, is part of the manufacturing process – “For you have made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.”
Our worth in God’s eyes is rooted in the fact that Jesus Christ was willing to die for each one of us – that He came specifically to fill the God-shaped vacuum in your heart and mine.
For Good Friday and Easter to change us, we must allow our quest for significance to lead us to Calvary and a personal encounter with Christ. For it is only at the foot of the cross that we can truly comprehend the depth of God’s love and acceptance. It is only then that we can look at the mirror each morning, and see the one for whom Christ died.