“Jesus Dying on the Cross is Intense!”

Posted on by COYFC

By Steve Telfer

A 13-year-old female resident spoke these words to me when I asked her what she knew about Jesus.  Though her attendance at church was sporadic at best, she was distinctly aware that He was killed on a cross and that the experience for our Lord and the entire human race was “intense.”  I told Kelly that I do not remember a resident expressing Jesus’ death with this word, let alone someone of such a young age.

Opening the Bible, I was able to take Kelly to the well-known verse of John 3:16.  Specifically, I shared and emphasized to her that Christ’s death on the cross was intense because His love for us is so intense. Only by Jesus sacrificing His life by shedding His sinless blood on the cross could we know forgiveness from God and experience and enjoy a relationship with Him forever.

 As is the case for most teens at the detention center, Kelly has experienced too much craziness at too young of an age.  Primarily, her relationships with family and peers have turned negative and destructive.  As a result, she has much anger with the world and periodic thoughts of suicide. Kelly is confused as she tries to navigate adolescence and the realities that beat her down. As a result, she made some poor choices which led her to time in juvenile detention.

Once again, I came away from our time amazed at the possibility for her life.  For 45 minutes she was extremely articulate in sharing her story and why she was now in a juvenile detention center.

But, of course, she was most articulate in understanding what Jesus Christ has accomplished with His death on the cross. God then helped Kelly further understand the love that He expressed there, despite being such a wicked act. Kelly is realizing that she can experience and know the power of salvation in her heart and life and that the cross can help her become an overcomer of her circumstances and the decisions she makes each and every day.

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