I hadn't planned on this post, but every once in a while something is said which sparks a connection in my brain. Last night, a friend of mine was upset that he had been asked to clean up a mess which wasn't his. It had been a long day, and he was tired. And, perhaps most of all, he knew whose mess it was and felt they should clean it up.
Yesterday at work, I had a bottle of pop which I normally drink with my lunch. The one time that I don't actually watch myself open my pop, it explodes. Fortunately, none got on my light blue shirt I was wearing. (The pop is red.) It got on the desk. It got on the floor...and it got on the yellow chair cushion. A little also got on my dark gray pants, but you couldn't tell. Well, my paid employment is at a hotel; so the yellow chair cushion having red spots in the reception area was just not possible. The receptionist did me a favor and grabbed me a white washcloth to mop up the mess. I did the best I could with that. Then the cleaning lady walked in and started cleaning. When she noticed what had happened with me, she came over and started cleaning up my mess, even to the point of putting her clean hands on the dirty mop to make sure the side of the desk wouldn't be sticky. Later, I took the chair cushion and washcloth to her and asked her what to do because I really wasn't sure. She simply said, "Give them here," and walked off to make sure they got washed. I was a little embarrassed, but mostly I was humbled. This was not her mess. This was my mess, but I didn't know the best way to go about cleaning it up.
Those nearly 2000 years ago when Jesus died on the cross, he was cleaning up my mess. In Matthew 5:17-18, we read, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished." So, what is the law? The law is about cleaning up your own messes. In Leviticus chapter 4, we can read about the sin offering, what had to be done to atone for sin. A person had to sacrifice a bull, a goat, or a lamb without defect in order to purify them from their sins. But what is really "without defect?" When has your dog eaten your homework or thrown up on your rug? I know little about livestock, but I imagine that they're much like dogs, not perfect, defective. So, basically, all these offerings to God just weren't cutting it. (Reference Hebrews 10; it was too long to include here, and I'd like you all to get some exercise pulling out your Bibles...or googling it.) Which is why Jesus, a.k.a. God, had to take on a human body and have his blood poured out for our sins. God, being the guy who sets the standards, is the only one who can be without defect. (It's a little like "keeping up with the Joneses.")
I am not perfect. I make messes. Often, I am not adequate to clean up my own messes. I am humbly blessed to have Someone who cleans them up for me. Happy Easter! Your messes are cleaned up!