I hear the lowly spirits of the devil reminding me of my pitiful past. Two of them flock around me, Deception and Guilt. Both of them whisper delusions and untruths to my mind as I try to pray.
“Give it up Christian,” mocks the ugly spirit named Deception, “If you really were a follower of God you wouldn’t have done the things you did.”
“But God forgives. The Bible says so,” I say.
I realize how pitiful my words sound. The Bible says so? I sound like I am trying to sing a Sunday School song. I try to continue praying.
Guilt cackles and says, “You may as well stop your useless mutterings. Don’t you know that your measly little prayer is a foul smell in God’s nostrils?”
It probable is, I think, my face burning in shame. How can a God so completely flawless even consider listening to my inadequate appealing? I am only a human dressed in the putrid rages of iniquity. He is high and lifted up on a throne of rapturous glory.
Deception whispers, “God doesn’t really love you. He is up there laughing at you for thinking you could ever be his child. You are unworthy.”
Unworthy, unworthy, unworthy. The word echoes through the core of my heart.
I let the mocking spirits take hold of my mind and blow their spiritual bombs in my soul. I am unworthy—unworthy of God’s love—unworthy of his forgiving power and healing grace.
Bright light fills the room, blinding me for a few seconds.
My eyes fall on a cross. Jesus hangs limp, almost lifeless on its cruel, splintered boards. They are so covered with red, dripping blood that I think he must have no more blood to give.
Salty tears run freely down my face. All I can do at the horrific sight is fall to my knees and stare in awe. I think of all the things I did wrong. The list seems endless.
I look at all the people as they scorn and jeer him. They laugh and point at the mock crown made of painful thorns. Don’t they see what they are doing? He doesn’t deserve to die, they do.
“You do deserve to die,” Guilt chuckles, “Christian.”
I ignore him and began to scream at the people, “Stop! Leave him alone. Don’t you know who he is? Don’t you see? Are you so blind, so deaf that you can’t see that you are killing an innocent man? He did nothing wrong, and you’re killing him!”
“You’re the one who’s killing him!”says Guilt, “You are the blind one. You sit there, so righteous, accusing others when you are just as filthy with sin as they are. Your precious savior is dying because of you. Murderer!”
No! No. I didn’t want this to happen, I tell myself. I bury my face in the ground and weep.
It’s true; I am a sinner, a killer.
Jesus starts to speak, than coughs, sputtering blood. I raise my head.
Oh God I’m sorry—sorry for what I did. Sorry…just sorry for everything…unworthy… I’m unworthy. I stumble over my thoughts, hardly thinking straight from my guilty despair.
His lungs heaving, working overtime to take a simple breath, Jesus lifts himself up using the nails as a crude pedestal. With drops of blood and perspiration running down his face, he gasps, “Father,” he grimaces and he pulls his head up, his face heavenward, “forgive them for they know not what they do.”
My throat constricts, and I close my eyes. He forgives them? Forgives me? I open my eyes. The cross is gone.
“He didn’t forgive you, child of sin,” says one of my tormentors.
“But he did! I heard him.”
“You heard wrong. He said, ‘For they know not what they do.’ You knew what you were doing,” says Deception, “You knew you were sinning. You have no excuse iniquitous human.”
“Your sin is too great for God to forgive,”Guilt gruffly adds.
“No!” I clench my hands into fists. “You’re wrong. I won’t listen to you anymore! Leave!”
“You can’t make us leave,” Deception’s voice is smug.
“You have no control over us!” snaps Guilt. I stand up, knees weak. My lips tremble as I whisper, “Jesus, help me.”
“Stop! Don’t say that name!” Fear creeps into Deception’s voice.
“You are not worthy to even say that name,” says Guilt. I look up and scream the name, “Jesus!” Strength comes into my knees and I stand straighter.
The demons try to keep control over there trembling voices.
“You cannot say that! You will stop!”
“You have no control over me,” I say. I raise my hands above my head and close my water filled eyes, “Jesus!” The two demons suddenly disappear and all is quiet. The strength leaves my body, and I fall to the ground and cry with thankfulness.
An overwhelming peace washes over me. I let my famished soul soak it up. Then a sweet joy spreads through my veins. I jump up and spin in a circle, arms stretched out, laughing. I am free! No more will they spin their black, ensnaring web in my mind. The fog I was lost in is now lifted. I am unworthy, but that’s no longer how I see myself. I am set free.
I am forgiven.