I felt I needed to share this testimony as it is just awesome and explains the gospel so clearly and God's love for us.
Taken from the Iris Newsletter
The following was written by a 22-year-old young man in ministry school whom I have come to know and with whom I have enjoyed great times in the Lord. He is an exceptionally fervent and hungry receiver of understanding and impartation. Recently he had such a tremendous encounter with Jesus that I felt I had to share his testimony with our Iris mailing list. Here it is: (Rolland Baker)
"In the evening, I went with Grace Place to watch The Passion of the Christ. I hadn't seen this since I was much younger and it didn't really have significance at the time because I didn't really understand the cross. Watching was the most brutal experience ever. I wanted to get up and walk out so many times, it was really excruciatingly painful to watch what Jesus went through. At the end of the movie out of nowhere I just lost control and started absolutely bawling my eyes out. This continued for the next two and a half hours. While this was going on, I had the most profound encounter with Jesus that I have ever had! He showed me His heart! I felt His pain as He was on the cross and He watched on at all the people who were crucifying Him with nothing but absolute love for them. He loved them soooo much! What He was doing was for them, and yet they beat Him, rejected Him, treated Him like a dog.
As all of this was happening, and thinking about the degree to which He suffered, all that could go on in my head was just that THERE SHOULD BE NO EXCUSE EVER NOT TO FULLY SURRENDER EVERYTHING! It is so not about us. It is all about Him. Sometimes we don't want to suffer because it will be uncomfortable for us- but it isn't about us. He already did the ultimate suffering! There is so much going on in my head that I can't really write it all out, and I'm not sure how to. I felt His love in me intensely for this whole two and a half hour period and nothing comes close to comparing to it. It was tearing me apart. He loves us SOOOOOO much! He so desires to be known. He is so lonely so much of the time. Not because Heaven isn't perfect or anything like that, but simply because He loves EACH INDIVIDUAL that much that without them knowing Him, it breaks His heart.
He showed me His heart for the lost and it was heart wrenching. How could anyone still reject Him after He displayed the ultimate act of love which goes beyond what we can grasp. I don't want to miss out on a thing of what You did for me Jesus! Whatever You made available (in regards to knowing You), I want it all. I don’t want to cheat You by not stepping into knowing You to the degree that You have made available! It was heart wrenching though seeing how much love He has for the lost and how it so breaks His heart for them to not want to know Him. So much love is worthy of it all- truly! And we are SO unworthy, and yet so many still choose to reject Him, just like the way He was beaten on Earth. If only they knew! It broke my heart.
He showed me His heart for the church, and that was super devastating as well. I have never cried so hard ever as I did throughout this experience. So painful because His love is the epitome of pure and Holy, and to see how the world responds to it is so unjust! He was showing how so much of the church doesn't truly know Him and how in so many ways He has been reduced to a doctrine, an experience, a magic fairy who is there to give us what we want in life, a series of biblical truths. HE IS NOT! HE IS A PERSON, NOT A THING! HE IS SO RIGHT THERE LONGING TO BE TRULY KNOWN. Beyond this too, I was shown how often we all make it about ourselves. Seeking for a breakthrough (for us), or asking for things so that we can do something for us and many other things. It is SO not about us at all. It is about surrender!
Finally He showed me His heart for me. This just tore me apart completely. I never fully understood the cross until tonight. The love that came with it. It was excruciatingly painful because I could not get low enough, or surrender myself enough in the moment to match what He deserves. It is not possible to do. It was so sad that I couldn't do this- all I wanted to do was hide myself. Not because I didn't want to be seen, or didn't want more, but because I was so unworthy to even be looked upon. As I am feeling and experiencing His love for me, I suddenly became fully aware of all of my imperfections. Not in a condemning sense at all because I was consumed by love, but I suddenly realised how unworthy I am to receive such pure, Holy love. There are no words I can put to it, but it changed my life (He keeps finding ways to do this when I think it has already been changed). It killed me because I was fully aware that despite all of these areas of imperfection (areas both big and tiny of impure motives that I was or wasn't aware of) He was not looking at any of it at all. All He wanted was to be with me and being aware of it all, I didn't feel like I deserved to be loved with that perfect love. How could I not have laid these areas down for Him?
Impure motives just come from a place of selfishness, where it becomes about us. It isn't about us, it is about love and surrender for Him!
Then He turned to me and said something which I have heard, read and had spoken over me 100s of times, but they didn't have meaning the way this time did. I wasn't actually seeing Jesus, but He was there. He looked at me and said 'you are righteous'. That was so devastating. He looks past all of the imperfections completely because He just loves us as He created us. He is right here! If He loves us with a love that doesn't look at any of our imperfections at all, how can we ever have an excuse to look at anyone else's imperfections? We need to look at them the way Jesus loves them, which goes beyond comprehension- to the point of laying your life down for them!
It was the most powerful experience I have ever had by far. Experiencing the love of Jesus and seeing His heart. I'm completely wrecked right now and can't ever be the same again after experiencing that. I really don’t ever want to step out of this awareness ever again! He is so worthy to be the centre of attention all the time! He IS the point of everything. And He is a person, not a thing! Jesus I want to know You the way You want to be known! Not enough praise could come out of me for what You have done, how much You love me, and for what You are doing in me and showing me!"