The fourth Sunday in Lent, we are mid-way through our Lenten journey and yet for some of us the transformation of our hearts seems to have a long way to go. Looking deep within our hearts, we have buried our ugly sins and locked up its secrets. Unfortunately, it is these very ugly secret sins that lock us up and prevent us from experiencing true freedom.
In the Gospel, Jesus recalls that the Israelites were also making a journey in the wilderness of Piran, a journey to the Promised land. Unfortunately, many of the Israelites began to curse the blessings of God and preferred to return back to Egypt. They wanted to go back into slavery rather than experience true freedom in the Promised land. Similarly, when we are comfortable with sin, we fail to recognize the many profound blessings that God gives us. Making a 360 degree turn away from sin is going to be an unpleasant, uncomfortable and a painful task. Change is difficult but we must remember that sin is the serpent’s slow poison that will eventually bring us death. The anti-venom to sin is the blood of Christ crucified that promises us life. In the wilderness of Piran, the Israelites were cured from the bites of venomous serpents when they gazed upon Moses’ bronze serpent raised on the standard. Thus, our healing from sin is only possible by accepting the sacrifice of Jesus, a sacrifice where Jesus was also raised on the standard, body torn and bleeding on Mount Calvary. If we decide to reject this free gift of Jesus’ sacrifice in exchange for true freedom, we condemn ourselves to enslavement of sin for all eternity.
Accepting the truth is difficult, the journey towards change is challenging but we are not alone. Giving up our sinful vices and gaining blessed virtues isn’t going to happen if we do not give Jesus permission to work in our hearts. The cleansing process is painful because sin has wounded us. Medicine is bitter and the treatment is slow but the wounds of sin will heal and its scars will fade when we decide to bring our sins into the light of Christ.
Confess your sins, ask Jesus to help you overcome your sins one day at a time. Keep moving forward with Jesus by your side. Choose freedom in the light of Christ instead of imprisonment in darkness of sin.