A little over a year ago we started loading up our Southland Instagram with photos of people getting baptized. Everything we do around here is to help people see Jesus and move toward following him, so why not show pictures of that life transformation?
Earlier today I was going through our shots from last year's Easter baptism events and came across the photo above. I just stared at it for a minute and let it sink in—#FORGIVEN. I realized there's so much power in that small word. If you've ever done something to hurt someone else, you know the weight that's lifted when you hear them say "I forgive you." And if you've ever had to forgive someone of something, you know the power that forgiveness has to rebuild relationships and mend broken hearts. But the forgiveness that comes from Jesus goes even deeper.
His is a forgiveness that brings hope out of hopelessness, joy out of sorrow, and new life out of what looked like ashes. Jesus' forgiveness is something that can make a grown man come up out of the water, fists raised in the air, and celebrate even more than if his team had just won the NCAA national championship (which hopefully, after next week, will have happened!). That's why I love our Instagram photos. They're a picture of what happens when you're forgiven of everything you've ever done. They're a picture of what happens when someone realizes the slate has been wiped clean. For that moment, before life kicks back into high gear, you see the true freedom that people experience when they take the plunge to follow Jesus with their lives.
You want to know the most beautiful thing about Jesus' forgiveness, though? He makes it so easy...He offers it to anyone that's willing to just ask for it and follow Him! And this weekend, you have a chance to experience that type of forgiveness and celebrate with the hundreds of others that will be experiencing it! No need to sign up ahead of time. Just bring a towel, a pair of shoes you wouldn't mind getting wet, and come ready to jump into the water during one of the times below. And if you've been wrestling with the question of whether you should get baptized, check out our baptism page for some great resources and answers to some of the questions you may be asking.
I hope to see you there!