Gone Not Just Covered!

   For about three months of the year the landscape around here is especially beautiful with the blanket of snow that comes sometime in November and with remnants that may linger until as late as March or early April.  All the “collectibles” (also known as “junk”) are covered and out of sight. But as mid-February comes around and the temperatures warm (usually!), the snow begins to melt and the ugly starts to show up again. The snow banks along the roadside are especially grungy with the grime and grit from the highway thrown to the sides by the snowplows.  But then comes a new blanket of snow, as we got last night, and all is beautiful again—for a brief time!  Eventually the snow will be gone in the valleys and until the new growth shows up, the landscape will not be so pretty.

     I can’t help but think of how much that is like our trying to cover up our sin and ugliness.  We may work really hard through all sorts of self-help remedies and seminars to improve our areas of weakness. We may try our best to keep a list of do’s and don’ts, but we ultimately fail.  We may think that joining a church and reading our Bible and giving of our resources will compensate for our mistakes.  But, it is all like whitewashing an old rotten fence. It is only temporary and doesn’t deal with the real problem. 
     During the Old Testament times, under the Mosaic Covenant, the priests made sacrifices for their sins and the sins of the people, but they had to do so continually, because the sins were only covered, not put away.  Conspicuous by its absence in the Tabernacle and Temple was a chair. The priest’s work was never done, so he didn’t sit down.
      But, then came the ultimate Sacrifice, Jesus Christ, introduced by John the Baptist as “the Lamb of  God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29). The author of the Book of Hebrews, speaking of Jesus Christ, our Great High Priest, wrote: “Thou art a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness, for as the Law made nothing perfect, and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God…And the former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers, because they were prevented by death from continuing, but He (Christ), on the other hand, because He abides forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:17-19,23-25).  “But when Christ appeared as a high priest…He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption” (9:11-13).  “For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (9:24-26).  “For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near…For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (10:1,2,4).  “By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD… For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified” (10:10-14).
     When I put my trust in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for MY sins, and believe that He was raised from the dead, indicating the penalty was paid in full,  I am no longer under condemnation (Ro. 8:1). “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psa. 103:12). He will “remember them no more” (Isa. 43:25). He has “cast them into the depths of the sea” (Mic. 7:19) and put up “No Fishing” signs!
     I don’t have to worry about the “snow melting” one day and revealing my ugly sin causing me to miss out on eternal life. My High Priest, Jesus Christ continues to apply His blood to my account and intercedes on my behalf (Heb. 7:25).  I will be in heaven one day, not because I worked really hard at doing the right things, but because of Jesus Christ my Savior and High Priest. “For God (the Father) made Him (God the Son) to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5:21).
     As believers in Jesus Christ, we can exclaim along with Jude, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen!” (Jude 1: 24,25).
     “Gone, gone, gone, gone, yes my sins are gone. Now my soul is free and in my heart’s a song. Buried in the deepest sin, yes that’s good enough for me. I shall live eternally—Praise God, my sins are G-O-N-E, Gone!”
                    Forever His,
                        Pastor Dave

About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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