Last summer a sea gull tagged the top of our car with two large white deposits. Much to my distress they would not wash off. I tried different kinds of auto polish and WD 40 and gasoline, all to no avail. I exhausted my repertoire of solutions and finally resigned myself to the fact that they were permanent. This Thursday while getting in the car I inadvertently reached up and wiped my hand across them and presto they came off. I didn’t rub. I didn’t polish. I merely swiped my hand and they were gone.
While driving down our hill I remembered Lady Macbeth lamenting her grave sins and crying, “Out damned spot.” It is a powerful passage regarding the futility of human efforts to atone for sins. We can shower, we can chastise ourselves, we can try to buy forgiveness but the spot is still there. We have not the power. We have not the means. We have not the competence. If it were not for Jesus and the gift of forgiveness we would be most miserable.
This is why the first four books of the New Testament are called Gospels. They are the incredible good news that there is a way. Someone with the power, and the means and the competence loves us and does it for us. The Old Testament system provided for a Day of Atonement. The New Testament provides us with 24/7 atonement. It is available any moment we need it. One of my friends once said to me, “Someday in heaven I am going to check your records and find out the truth about you.” He is going to be so disappointed because all the dirt vanished when Jesus swiped His hand across my account.
Written by Roger Bothwell on April 28, 2013
Spring of Life Ministry, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574