Do you remember a time in your life when you felt excluded, or perhaps left out? What did that feel like?
So get this, how about being on the outside looking in because you deserved it? How did that feel?
As a child, we’d often have moments where we battled not only with our inner self but also pretty much everyone around us because we think we are better off without their help. What does this mean? Think of a time where you’ve been sent to your room while having dinner because of what you said or did to your mom or dad?
How did that feel? Angry? Regretful? Sad?
“When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear. And they said to Moses, ‘You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!’” – Exodus 20:18-19
It is important to understand that in this context, the people of Israel had just been rescued and delivered out of Egypt in a miraculous way. On their journey into the wilderness, God protected and defended the Israelites by providing water from the rock for them to drink, and raining down manna for them to eat.
And in order for God to continue to defend and protect His people, as a new community, He gave them standards and instructions to live by. God did this because He wants His people to belong, not to be excluded, not to be left out, not to be on the outside looking in, which is caused by sins.
Our Sin Leaves Us Excluded
Here’s the truth: our sinful actions and conditions, or even the lack of actions, lead us to the outside looking in because it is not what God has designed us to be.
We know our God is holy, therefore He cannot just look the other way. Because of the sins that we committed, He needed mankind to be punished.
So there’s no wonder why the Israelites were trembling with fear at the foot of the mountain.
Here’s THE Truth: Jesus, the holy Son of God is our defender. He is the one who made sure that we were not excluded. He is the one who came and took our place to make the payment for the things that we have done that keeps us on the outside looking in.
Ultimately, Jesus is the presenter and the mediator of the new covenant. He endured the just and right punishment of God for the sins mankind committed. And in the same breath, Jesus took our place.
His death and resurrection became a proclamation of grace and love. That’s why when God looks at us, He sees Jesus. And He affirms and welcomes us into belonging, no longer excluded, no longer looking on the outside looking in.
Jesus is the one who unlocked the door and says, “I love you. You belong.” He bridged the gap to let us out of our room and let us sit back at the dinner table.
God Longs to Defend Every Life
As the body of Christ, we have to become Jesus’ community of defenders – a community that’s always ready to lend a hand for the broken, unseen, and unheard. Our mission is to help them realize that they are loved, and that they don’t have to be excluded despite how ugly they think their pasts are.
That may be easier said than done. But just as Jesus displayed the ultimate declaration of love on the cross, we too could embody His love and bring His light just by being there for those who need us most.