"Look at these hands at my side
They swallowed the grave on that nightWhen I drank the world's sinSo I could carry you inAnd give you life I want to give you life"
-Tenth Avenue North, "By Your Side"
This is a beautiful, poetic representation of what Jesus did on the cross. But as I got wrapped up in that wondrous phrase "swallowed the grave that night," something whispered across my soul.
"But wait...there's more."
Because when my boyfriend-now-husband opened up a Bible on Halloween all those years ago and laid out the pure and simple gospel for me, all I was looking to answer was "How do I get to Heaven?"
It was a question no one in my growing up years could answer definitively. It seemed our church had absolutes...except where the absolutes were trumped by other things. There were centuries upon centuries of theology that weren't shared with the little guy so that the little guy interpreted things as he wished, cherry-picked beliefs and doctrines abounding.
I was swimming in a sea I couldn't navigate when all of the clutter was swept away by the simple truth that Jesus is God and He died for sin and rose again to redeem us to the Father. It is breathtaking in its simplicity and mind-boggling in its mystery.
But wait...there's more.
It has taken years, but I've now realized (in a conscious way...perhaps I have known it longer in my heart) that Jesus has given me so much more when He opened my heart to the truth--because He opened it to the Word.
Where before my opinion was easily swayed by rhetoric, I now have something solid that informs my stance on every issue.
Where before I solved problems with whatever might work, I now have the ultimate conflict resolution manual at my fingertips.
Where before I wondered what to do with my life, I now have the Book that shows me how to do life--no matter where circumstance or choice takes me.
Where before I worried about being loved, I now know that my job on this earth is to love my neighbor without holding back, because I have already received the greatest Love there is.
So, yes, I have salvation. Assurance of Heaven and enjoying God forever. But there is more: the gift begins now; the Kingdom is at hand (John 3:2).