What can wash away my sin?
Every religious system offer some kind of solution about how to deal with your guilt, how to deal with your shame, how to deal with the past… but in the history of mankind, only one person has ever stepped forward and said, “I don’t simply have a solution. I am the solution!” And maybe we better pay attention, because we’ve done everything we know to do to wash away our sins, and none of it has worked.
God is like a parent. He only gives rules to people who are already in a relationship with Him. And if that’s true, that’s staggering! If God’s relationship with Israel is a model… that you can rebel and be disobedient and go too far left and too far right and do your own thing…. And God keeps coming back over and over, and disciplining you… not to pay you back, but to bring you back.. that’s amazing. That says something about the depth and the wealth of God’s love and grace.
Mankind had so polluted the world… if God was a God who cared and if God was a God of compassion, He had a decision to make. Do I wade into this mess and try to find a starting point for cleaning up the mess that those people created for themselves? Or do I just hang a big “Out of order!” sign around the earth and go do something else, somewhere else?
Jesus talked about sin. But when Jesus talked about sin, he always talked about sin in connection with relationships. He taught that sin breaks relationships. Jesus’ entire purpose in talking about sin was restoration, not condemnation. We have to talk about sin in order to restore relationships, because you’re not just a mistaker, you are a sinner. Your heavenly father wants you to be restored to him. And the only way to be restored is to seek forgiveness. And the only way you’ll seek forgiveness is if you realize you didn’t simply make a mistake. The only way you’re going to seek forgiveness is when you realize that you have in fact, sinned. And even worse, it’s not the first time. Because you are a sinner. But Jesus said “Don’t freak out. Because that’s not the end. That’s the means to a very important end.”