When I was a young boy there was an open lot across the street from my house. As a result, it became a great place to play football with my friends. We would often meet there after school to play. When we played a game of football, we had to referee ourselves. As a result, there were some times disagreements about particular plays. Every side would argue their case and understanding of what happened. When we couldn’t reach a decision, someone would call out “do-over.” A “do-over” call meant that the previous play was forgotten, and everything would be done over. It was a new start; a new chance to play.
When you read the Gospels, there are countless stories where Jesus encountered individuals who had come to a point in their lives where they felt stuck in situations that offered no hope for their futures. Whether it was a man covered with the sores of leprosy, a woman sitting alone at a well, a dishonest tax collector hanging from a sycamore tree, or a woman about to be stoned to death by a mob, Jesus entered the scene and cried out “do-over.” Jesus refused to let these individuals remain in their hopeless situations. Jesus offered a second chance and a fresh start with a new future.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17, the apostle Paul writes, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” In Jesus, God offers every person a chance to start over and begin anew. In Jesus, no life ever reaches a point in which it is beyond redemption and renewal. Every life can find a new beginning in Jesus.
Nowhere is this more seen than in the cross. The cross of Jesus is God’s way of saying “do-over” to a world broken by sin, gripped in guilt, and bound for hell. God, out of his great love for us, turns the pages of our past and creates a new beginning for all. We can leave our painful past and find hope for a new beginning in Jesus. Regardless of what our lives may look like in the present, God says, “do-over.” It is a new start and a new chance at life.