I’m basically a good person. Among my friends in high school and college, I was always known as a “good girl,” never getting into much trouble, attending church, and being a good student. As a result, I have a pretty inflated view of myself. Self-righteous would be the more accurate term.

Over the past month, God has been stripping back some of the layers I’ve shrouded myself in to give me a glimpse of how He sees my heart – ugly, defiled . . . offensive. In Experiencing the Resurrection by Henry and Melvin Blackaby, they write, “We all know our mistakes, our poor choices, our ungodly thoughts, and our selfish desires. What we don’t grasp is how truly offensive that sin is to God or how to be free from that sin in order to live lives pleasing to God.”

As I’ve looked at my motives, my grumbling, and my self-righteousness, I’m finally beginning to see my sin for what it is. And what’s more, this insight has given me a greater understanding and appreciation for what Christ did for me on the cross. My sin put Him there. The wages of sin is death, and in the Father’s grace, He substituted the death of His son on my behalf. For sins that – until now – I’ve viewed lightly, as if they really weren’t a big deal. But in reality, the consequence for them was grave. The Blackabys go on to say about Satan, “When it comes to the cross and the resurrection of Christ, Satan will try to keep your focus on a body that was beaten, whipped, pierced, and crucified. He doesn’t mind you thinking about the agony of intense pain, the public humiliation, and the innocent blood that Christ shed. He isn’t bothered if you see the truth of the crucifixion – as long as you don’t notice the truth of His death.”

This Easter as I look to what was accomplished on the cross and refer to Jesus as my Savior, I carry this new insight with me. The depth of what happened when Jesus bore my sin and accepted my penalty overwhelms me. And the power of the resurrection and His invitation to be a part of His family mean so much more.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24