There’s this idea (or reality) that I cling to regarding my sinfulness, that might seem really depressing, but it is actually really freeing: I’ll never know a greater sinner than myself, because I can only know how far I’ve gone to reject the grace of God in my life; I can’t know how far any other person has gone. To put it another way, I can judge other peoples’ actions as sinful, but I can’t know the entirety of their conscience to be able to know just how severe their sins are; I can only know that about myself. That’s between them and Jesus … which means that the severity of my sin (and remember, I’m the greatest sinner I know) is between me and Jesus.
Yes, Jesus, the God who became man to redeem humanity, knows the full extent of my sin. He knows when I, with full knowledge of how great His love is, have willingly rejected it. He has complete knowledge of how I’ve turned down His love in favor of something less. And, if I didn’t know Jesus personally, that would be the most terrifying reality, that the one who holds my eternal destiny in His power fully knows how unworthy I am of eternity with Him.
But, because I know Jesus, this reality is actually quite freeing. Yes, my sin makes me unworthy of eternal life, but His redemption has made me worthy and He invites me into this reality every single day. We don’t expect to encounter Jesus in our sin because He is all good and calls us out of our sin, but He doesn’t call us out of it on our own. He Himself steps into our sin to pull us into freedom, into new life with Him.
Jesus told St. Faustina in His message of divine mercy, “The greater the sinner, the greater the right he [or she] has to my mercy.” Jesus mysteriously enters the one place we expect to encounter Him the least — our sin — and pulls us out of it so it no longer defines us and, instead, allows us to receive His love.
Only you and Jesus can know the full extent of your sin, and He might know it more fully than you. But if you know Him, if you believe in His promise of mercy, and if you trust Him as He calls you out of your sin, this is a reality that won’t bring fear but great peace because His heart is for you.
Take some time this week to examine and reflect on how you’ve rejected His love. He already knows what your sins look like. And with every sin, your right to His mercy is made greater and His desire to forgive and heal you remains steadfast. Turn to Jesus, trusting in His mercy and having hope in His power, and allow Him to meet you in your sin, heal you from it, and draw you out of it and into new life. The journey isn’t always easy or comfortable, but it will lead to the abundant life you were created for. And, most importantly, our Savior, who walks with you on this journey, will never stop loving you.
For more on how Jesus meets us in our sin, check out the first night of our global Life Night series, “You Won’t Find Jesus Here?” right here.