“By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.” (Heb. 11:31)
We all know the story of Rahab. She was a prostitute who did not perish with the rest of those in Jericho. She had lived a life of sin, a life of sexual immorality, idolatry, and one assumes there was a great deal of bitterness and resentment deep in her heart. She was a used and abused woman, and whatever physical beauty she may have had, her life reeked of the stench of death and rotting.
But the thing just amazes me is that the Scriptures refer to her as the harlot. In other places, Paul goes to great lengths to insist that God does not name us after our sin, but He always names us after our Savior. But here the sin of Rahab is practically her title, her first name. Isn’t she forgiven? Isn’t it over? Why keep bringing it up?
The reason the Scriptures keep bringing it up is because she was forgiven. This is the magic of Easter. God takes wounds and pain and agony, and He turns them into glory. And the proof of that is at this table. Our crucified Savior looked defeated, looked condemned, and in fact suffered with horrific agony and shame. But God took those wounds and turned them into glory. He took that humiliation and turned into praise. And in the resurrection the wounds of Jesus have become His trophies. He is seated on the throne in heaven, John says, like a slaughtered lamb.
And that’s what God wants to do with all of us. He invites us here to this table in order to turn our scars into trophies. When sin is forgiven, when we are completely free, all of our failures and weaknesses and sins are turned into glory, because they display the glorious magic of Easter. See that little bit of death there? Then God made me alive. See that anger? God lifted me out of that pit and now I’m at peace. See that porn problem? See that adultery? See that homosexual temptation? See those lies? See my drug and alcohol abuse? See my hands and my side? I was dead, but now I am alive.
So come to Jesus, come to life.