She was still a teenager, but she had been on the streets for a long time. As she left the church that evening after a meeting where I had spoken on teen sexuality she said to the pastor, in tears, “It was worth coming tonight — for all of us — for just that one thing the speaker said: ‘That is what some of you were, but you were washed.’ I met Jesus last night, and tonight I brought all my street friends to this meeting. Those words were just for us.”
The verse I had quoted was the Apostle Paul’s’ assurance of forgiveness:
“Do not be deceived … the sexually immoral … will not inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:11).
Where are you this Easter? Where are the teens you work with, and love, and are concerned about?
Are they being sexually intimate with their boyfriend or girlfriend, opposite sex or same sex?
Are they caught in a lifestyle, like the hookup culture, that they know is wrong and that is not satisfying but don’t know how to escape from? Are they feeling “used,” worthless, hopeless?
Are girls struggling with the changes in their bodies and confusing emotions as they go through puberty? Are they considering the advice of social media influencers that taking testosterone will make them feel better, that maybe they are actually not girls at all, that their problem is that they are really Trans? Have they already begun social and medical transition and are thinking they have made a big mistake?
Whatever the situation, what happened at the first Easter gives hope. Through Jesus we can all know that we can be forgiven, whatever our sin, sexual or otherwise. Jesus not only died to pay for our sin but his resurrection destroyed the power of sin over us. His death and resurrection are a “double cure,” cleansing me from sin’s guilt and power, as the hymn “Rock of Ages” puts it:
Let the water and the blood
From Thy riven side which flowed
Be of sin the double cure
Cleanse me from its guilt and pow’r
We can learn to accept our situation, whatever it is, knowing that Jesus has promised to be with us “(Matthew 28:20) and to strengthen us through his Holy Spirit. “It is for your good that I am going away,” he told his disciples, because “if I go, I will send (the Holy Spirit) to you (John 16:7).
Remember that this same Spirit “who raised Christ from the dead” also lives in us.” Sin no longer has power over us.
Do we believe this?