Some people use religion as a way to avoid dealing with their hurt and worthlessness. Christianity to them is a system of behaviour that they follow to gain a sense of value. To maintain their self esteem they unconsciously find themselves covering up the source of their pain.
Grace, with its message of ‘acceptance for all’ is threatening, as suddenly their efforts to adhere to their system become redundant. But their whole sense of self worth relies on their perception that they are performing as religion requires. So they cannot allow grace to kick away the crutch that would expose their underlying problem. The consequences of grace are far to revealing. And so grace is rejected, opposed, dismissed through fear of exposure, and the unknown. Religion cannot walk the path of grace; it is too frightened, not knowing where it will lead.
Take away the walls of religion that the wounded have built around their suffering and you remove the years of an illusionary life that has protected them. Remove religion and you take away their self worth and their means of coping with life. Religion is a mask that some people hide behind in fear of revealing their true self.
Some people who use the practise of a religious system to maintain self worth have pain deep down; they have buried it, in the deepest part of their inner self and have rolled a stone on top of it to prevent it escaping.
Only Jesus can roll away the stone and bring life to the true self. Only Jesus can touch the inner parts of our being that religion cannot reach. Only Jesus can bind up the wounds of self rejection. Only Jesus can bring a healing that results in a profound acceptance of everything we are. Only Jesus can release the prisoners from the darkness. Only Jesus can set free the tormented soul.
Only Jesus can give to them beauty for ashes, pour the oil of joy on their wounds, the garment of praise for their religious veneer; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified.