Saturday, April 21, 2012

Broken But Forgiven by Martin Wiles

“Lovely to look at, delightful to hold, but if you should break it consider it sold!”

My wife and I had a similar sign in our antique shop and liked another which read: “Unattended children will be sold as slaves.” Touchers and holders made us nervous. Of course, we expected our customers to handle and examine what interested them. Looking only is akin to buying sight unseen. Fortunately there were no breaks. 

We see similar signs when visiting antique stores, but it doesn’t prevent our touching, holding, examining or running our fingers over items that interest us. Sometimes even with stuff we have no intention of buying. And luckily, we’ve never broken anything either.

My life, on the other hand, hasn’t been so privileged. I’ve broken trust, relationships, laws, rules, reputations, guidelines, and a host of other things I don’t care to remember. And I’ve been broken by other people’s bad decisions, unkind comments, false accusations and criminal acts. Who hasn’t?

When I consider what I’ve done to others and had done to me, God’s word is strikingly comforting: For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. (Hebrews 8:12)

Reflecting on God’s modus operandi in the Old Testament, the writer relishes the change. No more continuous animal sacrifices, attempting to cover his sins. No more blood and guts. No more persistent guilt feelings froml knowing an animal’s death couldn’t really pay for sins. No more trekking back and forth to Jerusalem in search of a priest to intercede for him.

And I’m glad too. I may be broken but I’m forgiven. The slate is wiped clean. No sins are overlooked or beyond God’s reach. No more animals. No more intercessors. Just the comfort of knowing Christ’s blood has mended the broken shards of my life’s messes. I’m totally repaired; eternally free. 

Face the future with courage and optimism knowing Christ is able to clean up your breaks free of charge.

Prayer: Merciful Lord, we thank You for the complete forgiveness we have in You.

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