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You’d Just Get it Dirty Again: A Good Friday Reflection

Although the South has a reputation of having polite people, here in East Tennessee some people haven’t quite gotten the memo, especially in the retail sector. My wife and I were at a fast food restaurant when a guy came back into the dining room (yes, some of those are open again) and told the attendant at the counter, “Just wanted to make sure I didn’t leave my jacket.”

Her response: “Shouldn’t have brought it in in the first place.”

But the best comeback took place many years ago, at one of those places which is a rarity: a full-service gas station. It was a company car and I had the company credit card, so I stopped by this place on my way out of town. The attendant dutifully was pumping my gas and cleaning my windshield. A guy in a pick-up truck next to me asked, “Why did you clean his windshield and not mine?”

“You’d just get it dirty again,” the attendant shot back.

This is Holy Week, when we consider how Our Lord Jesus Christ took away our sins on the cross. Today we tend to have an entitlement mentality about things; taking away our sins is expected. But that really isn’t the case. The truth is that, like the gas station attendant, God could have told us with equal justification that, like the windshield, we’d just get ourselves dirty with sin again and it wasn’t worth the trouble to fix it.

But He did not:

Come to me, all you who toil and are burdened, and I will give you rest! (Matthew 11:28 TCNT)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that every one who believes in him may not be lost, but have Immortal Life. (John 3:16 TCNT)

How true the saying is, and worthy of the fullest acceptance, that ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’! And there is no greater sinner than I! (1Timothy 1:15 TCNT)

My children, I am writing to you to keep you from sinning; but if any one should sin, we have one who can plead for us with the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous– and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but for those of the whole world besides. (1 John 2:1-2 TCNT)

In the Anglican liturgy these are referred to as the “comfortable words,” and I discuss how they comforted me from an early age. But they can be comfortable for you too. For it was not God’s idea for us to wallow in unforgiven sin and sorrow but to have peace and joy in his presence.


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