I was “almost” a New Year’s baby. Mom told me I was born shortly after midnight on January 2nd. Hence the new year for me is a time of “double reflection” – the dawning of a new calendar year and a plus-one to my chronology.

A special milestone for me this particular  year is my “spiritual birthday” which I will celebrate on February 1st. It was four decades ago (1975) when I became a “new creature in Christ.” I remember as a young  boy being drawn towards the person of Christ, watching in earnest, films that portrayed His life and death. Nobody ever took our large, red family Bible off the bookshelf except for me; I loved to look at the pictures. My built in “designer cravings” were longing for activation. It was an arms’ length connect, later to become a heart explosion in the searching soul of a twenty-one year old man.

The cross is the “game-changer” in a person’s life. Conviction and confession of sin brings absolution; complete forgiveness and acquittal. It’s such a clean feeling that God describes it as being “born again.”

God of eternity past and future, scooped up a handful of dust to begin the timeline of man. While we all return to dust, believers in Jesus inherit eternal life and the promise of a glorified future body. God put a stake in the ground at a place called Calvary. Dust is forever redeemed here.

One of the most comprehensive statements which I believe defines the power of the cross is this one from 1 Peter 2:24, “By his wounds you have been healed.”

Peter’s epistle was aimed at helping the church navigate through trial and testing in the midst of a hostile anti-Christ culture. His main point is that we are empowered to overcome in the midst of suffering and hardship.

Healing by Christ’s wounds (the Cross) is healing, period – from every injustice, pain, and wound that mankind will ever endure. To appropriate this into every region of the soul is our mission in life – to be conformed into the glorious image of Christ. We are a work in progress.cross

My spirit was completely healed when I repented of my sinful ways and chose Christ as Lord of my life. Absolved and acquitted however, is not the same as “erased” nor the same as being “exempt” from the challenges of life.

The heart is not erased but reconfigured for transformation.

The journey is layered with new beginnings all along the way. The Bible describes it as going “from glory to glory.” Life is a panorama that spans from cover to cover: In the beginning God created  ⇒ Behold I make all things new.  (Genesis 1:1 – Revelation 21:5)

Glorious new beginnings will always be on the horizon.