One of the more popular approaches to television shows and movies in recent years has been the development of a character’s backstory. After a brief introduction of a character, we are transported back in time to discover their past and what has brought them to the place they are today. From their backstory we learn why they make the choices that they do.
Every person has a backstory. We all have a past. And we all have a past that is filled with pain, difficulty, regret, and shame. If we are forced to live with our past and its voices that call out to us with further guilt and accusation, then we are faced with a somewhat hopeless future.
As a follower of Jesus Christ something radical happens to my life – even my backstory. When I receive what He did for me on the cross, I am lavished with forgiveness and a rewriting of my identity. I no longer have to carry around reminders of my past, reminders of my failures, and reminders of who I was. By the death and resurrection of Jesus I am cleared, cleansed, and also declared what I could never become – holy. My backstory is changed.
The writer of Hebrews stated it this way:
we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. Hebrews 10:10 & 14
Me? Sanctified? Perfected? That is the overwhelming good news of what Jesus accomplished. And I am able to experience this backstory rewrite by faith. What a transformation! What a change! My past rewritten. I no longer have to hear the audience of my old backstory with its boos and hisses. I now here the voice of God and the angels of heaven shouting words of encouragement based on my new backstory. “Forgiven! Clean! Mine! Favored! Loved! Holy!”
New backstory. New identity. New me.