Thursday, July 08, 2004

if we wore our sin upon our face

My son Jake got Poison Something on his face and neck. Poor guy. He looks like somebody was getting ready for a football game and smeared on the face paint much too quickly. Feels kind of sandpapery too. But it set me to thinking.

What if sin manifested itself like that? What if for each bad thought, each sin, each intent toward anything other than Christlikeness, a bump or a redspot was displayed for all to see?

Oh, man. I can't even imagine what I'd look like.

Of course, the dermatologist would set his hand to the task, maybe rendering it not quite as evident. But gone completely? I don't think so. A great cream would bust out on the market designed to reduce the appearance of sin in your life. Just rub in nightly and in two to four weeks you'll start to see results. But please don't sin in the meantime. Finally, the plastic surgeon would get involved, and maybe he could get it to look a lot better, but he can't guarantee there will be no scarring.

How horrible would this be?

And yet.

What if that's all that happened? What if sin wasn't marring our hearts? Just our face? I mean, everybody would look bad and there'd be no pretending we were fine, no tucking away the evidence that we're human like everyone else, that today was the worst day, that we yelled at the kids while spending almost no time with them, that we drank a little too much wine after dinner, that we looked at a co-worker and thought, "You know . . . that Bob/Alice is quite the hottie these days. I wonder what it would be like to . . ." We'd say, "Oh well, another bump."

As usual, God knew what He was doing when he made the heart to bear the primary effects of sin. It's hard to be human, to be a sinner, and wear the weeping wounds of our own weaknesses upon our hearts. God knows. And so

"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

I'm amazed constantly at the simplicity of the gospel. At the breathtaking economy. The death of One providing enough grace and goodness to blot out the sins of the entire human race. And the glorious thing about it for me is this: when God the Father looks upon my heart, he sees it through the lens of Christ's sacrifice: no bumps, no scars, no black rotting tissue. Something clean and pink and new.




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