Have you ever buried something, only to have it resurface?
During the late 19th century, farmers and ranchers in our country burned the trash they generated and buried what would not burn. In the 1950’s and ‘60’s, that trash began to resurface. Glass medicine bottles. Rusty tools. Fragments of dishes and cooking pots. All kinds of artifacts, buried decades earlier in pits four to six feet deep, worked their way up to the surface. The need for safer methods of garbage disposal came to light.
Spiritual trash won’t stay buried either. No matter how deep we dig the hole, the toxicity of our sin sooner or later burrows back into our awareness:
- The IRS audits the tax return we falsified.
- Our wife finds evidence that we’re deeply addicted to Internet pornography.
- Dad meets us at the door the day our grade report arrives, revealing how little studying we did for Senior English.
- Our best friend hears about the nasty off-hand comment we made about her.
- We schedule the physical we’ve been postponing, and the doctor confronts us with the consequences of our less-than-healthy lifestyle.
Those “gotcha” moments make us squirm. We regret the consequences of getting caught—the fine and penalties, the new medicine, the mandatory summer school class.
But sometimes our regret goes deeper. Our hearts ache as we watch our spouse sob. Our shoulders sag as we see the hurt in our friend’s eyes. Real fear floods our hearts as we consider the very real possibility we might suffer a stroke … or worse.
Sometimes there is no external “gotcha” moment. No one catches on, and we breathe a sigh of relief. Until, that is, we realize we must live with ourselves and with what we have done. Worse still, perhaps the truth dawns on us that we have offended a holy God, our loving heavenly Father. That truth pierces our heart and soul with the pain of real remorse.
Have you ever said something like this? I could just die!
In such moments we wish we could crawl under the table or run out of the building or move to another city. But our sin carries much more serious consequences than mere feelings of embarrassment. We see that as we look to Calvary’s cross. Because of our sins, we could die! In fact, we should die. In fact, we must die! We must die with Jesus on his cross. We must enter the grave with him. There and only there, our sins are buried once and for all. That’s precisely what Romans 6:4 tells us. Listen! (Read it from your Bible.)
What a mystery! We died with Christ; we were buried with Christ; we were raised with Christ—all so we can live with and for Christ. We have received his new life. Our guilt is gone, never to resurface. Our shame is erased. The “old us” is dead! Long live the new creation!
But Jesus accomplished even more on Calvary’s cross and Easter’s open tomb. Because of our Savior’s victory, sin can no longer enslave us. We no longer have to listen to Satan’s temptations or to his accusations; we can dismiss them from our minds. We can tell ourselves the truth about who we really are—God’s new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), his work of art (Ephesians 2:10), his beloved children and the eternal heirs of heaven (Ephesians 1:3-12; 1 John 3:3).
Little by little, our Savior-God is working in us, changing us from “glory to glory” until we become more and more on the outside what God has already declared us to be on the inside—“little Christs” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Editor’s note: This devotion is adapted slightly from one that appeared in one of CTA’s newsletters several years ago. CTA offers many helpful value-priced devotion books for use year round. May our Savior richly bless your celebration of his Resurrection victory this week and eternally!