If you could live your life over again, would you? Most of us, without further thought, would say, “Absolutely!” But are you sure? Do you think you would be happy being the person you were thirty years ago?
Each of us is the product of our past. We are who we are today because of the circumstances, experiences, and influences that have left their mark on our lives. If we could tailor-make our past, what would we do differently? Probably nothing, for our perspective has been determined by our journey, and without that journey, we would not be the person we are today.
We all have a past, and we only go around once. We can wish all we want, but it won’t change a thing. To be mired in self-pity, to give up on life, to dream of what might have been, will get us nowhere. We must face the facts, deal with the heartache, recover from our mistakes, and build on the lessons learned.
Seldom has the issue of rethinking the past been more important than it was to those who had called for Jesus’ crucifixion. But something had happened in Jerusalem that changed everything; within days of the crucifixion, a report began to circulate that could not be ignored. Like it or not, they had to account for an empty tomb, eye-witnesses who claimed to have seen Him, and a group of disciples with a change of attitude. What to do?
They could ignore the issue altogether and get on with their lives. They could follow the example of the religious establishment and presume, without warrant, that the disciples had stolen His body. But they knew better, and they knew that no man will ever recover from his mistakes by claiming ignorance or by denying what he knows to be true.
Many of those who called for Jesus’ crucifixion would soon discover God is more than willing to forgive our past, no matter what. No sin is so despicable, no weakness is so glaring, but that God cannot give a man a new start in life. And if God can forgive those who crucified His Son, you know He can forgive anything!
For us, as for the people of Jerusalem, our God is more than willing to take our failures, our ignorance, and our mistakes, and work them back into His plan. If you don’t give up on God, I can assure you, He will never give up on you.
The Bible says, “All things work for good to those who love God, who are called according to His purpose,” and yes, that includes the crucifixion of our Lord. By His death on the cross, Jesus made possible our eternal life. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” and breathed His last, the curtain in the Temple isolating the Holy of Holies from public view, was torn from top to bottom. God’s presence was now available to all.
And what God did for them, yes, even for those who days before had called for the crucifixion of His son, He would like to do for you and me. We can agonize over past failures, surrender to our weaknesses, and cloud our days with self-pity. Or we can come to God, invite His forgiveness, and trust Him to lead us and make the days ahead the best days of our lives! It’s never too late to become what you might have been!