“For this is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)
Sin is a three-letter word rarely used in polite society and never mentioned in daily newscasts. It masks itself in subtle ways, blazes boldly out in front, or gnaws at us like termites nibbling away at undergirding beams. Fully present just below the surface and invisible to the human eye, it makes its deceitful mark by deception and false claims.
It’s precisely why we had Easter in the first place.
Christ breathed our oxygen, cried our tears, and died an excruciating death over that three-letter word. Ever since it entered the Garden, it raised an ironclad curtain preventing us from experiencing perfect fellowship with our Creator. With the cross as his pointed dagger, Christ Jesus plunged his weapon into the heart of sin and destroyed its grasp on us for eternity.
Some of us see ourselves as good, upright citizens who have successfully mastered our longings, made ourselves presentable, and never wandered into the far country. Like the elder brother in the parable, we wear the garments of pride and self-righteousness. Christ declares to us, “None is righteous, no, not one…all have turned aside” (Romans 3:10-12). In other words, sin cannot be camouflaged.
Others believe themselves too far gone, beyond the reach of forgiveness; their past mistakes and prodigal years have rendered them exempt from God’s cleansing. Like the prodigal who returns with the stench of the pigpen as his pungent odor, these sons and daughters straggle home, never once believing the Father’s love could see them as anything more than second-class citizens.
Both the “good” and the “bad” are stained by the ugly mark of sin; both are in need of saving. And Easter is that brilliant, outlandish rescue by a God so in love with his people that he would sacrifice his very best, his only Begotten Son, on their behalf. “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
Truth for us to cherish, no matter the season we are in or the state of our heart at present.
Elizabeth A. Mitchell
Calligraphy by Ginny Melby – www.desertsagescripts.com