I’ve lost track of how many days we’ve been quarantined. Most days I have to remind myself of what day of the week it is. Since I’ve started working from home and the computer has essentially become the hub of my entire life, I’ve developed a habit of taking a small break from the computer and glancing out the window to see what the outside world is doing every now and then. Last week, that habit really paid off in a big way.
As I peeked out the window, I saw the little boy from down the street running down the sidewalk as fast as he could. The thing is … he wasn’t wearing any clothes. Nothing. Not a stitch. No one was really chasing him, so I ran out the door after him. I realized quickly he was outpacing me by a lot. I ran back to my house to grab my car because he was already down the street and turned out of sight. By that time, another neighbor had joined the chase. The other neighbor managed to at least get the boy to start running back towards the general vicinity of his house so his mom could finally catch him.
That boy had no shame while he was streaking through the neighborhood. He just ran with a sense of freedom and no guilt.
Throughout this quarantine one thought has been very central to me – my sin has seemed exponentially more evident to me. This period of refinement and ever changing circumstances has just served to shine a spotlight on so many sins. Some of them I knew and had been dealing with and some were newly realized. All are displeasing to God.
I had recently confessed sin to a trusted mentor. I used to never do that. I tried hard to hide my sin from others – to put on a facade so they only saw the “good” parts of me. One of the problems with that thinking was that in reality, no one ever saw any of the real me because the good parts weren’t that real. It’s only with the vulnerability of sharing the messy and difficult parts of sin and repentance that anyone truly ever knows who we really are – and can show love for us even as they help us fight our sin. So, I confessed the sin that was eating me up inside – I had already made my confession to God. I was given one particular piece of advice that I hope I never forget: We should confess our sin, but then we should cling to Jesus’ covering of our sin with reckless abandon. What does that mean? It means that we should practice what we preach. Scripture says that if we confess our sins, He’s faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us (1 John 1:9) and that there remains no condemnation (Romans 8:1), but do we actually believe that with our actions?
It’s the first week of the new month. It’s Holy Week. This month’s picture of Jesus is as the Lamb of God. When I planned that representation of who He is at the beginning of the year, I had no idea what our circumstances would be at this time. Our world today is a very different world from January 1. But Jesus is still the same.
John 1:29 says, “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’”
Jesus still takes away the sin of the world. Of all weeks to remember that truth, surely this week it should be on the forefront of our minds.
But how often do we say He forgives our sin, but in our minds or hearts we replay those sins, punishing ourselves anew for the wrongdoings. Then we’re still relying on our own righteousness to take away that sin, not Jesus’ righteousness. How often are we letting Satan daily condemn us for a sin we’ve confessed and repented of? May I make a radical suggestion? Entirely cling to the righteousness…the forgiveness…that Jesus freely offers.
I’m not condoning sin – don’t hear what I’m not saying. Only that when we’ve sinned, then accept the fact that He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world…and the sin of each of us. Accept it with the vigor of the little boy running down the street, free of clothes, free of care, free of condemnation.
Except that maybe you shouldn’t be free of clothes. Just a thought.