There is a deep hole in the pavement over some kind of manhole cover or access point in a certain right-turn lane on one of my frequent routes home. There, I once pulled around to pass, on the right, a car that was waiting to turn left. I was not exhibiting the biblical virtue of patience!
In driving around that car, I didn’t notice the hole until it was too late. My right wheel(s) struck the cavernous indention with great force. The bump felt and sounded horrible; I cringe even now when think about it and, when I drive past that spot on Rocky Ridge Road, I try to avert my eyes just enough to avoid seeing the spot that reminds me how careless I was – the “scene of the crime.” The place brings back an unhappy memory. I don’t like to be reminded of my impatience, nor of the harmful impact I caused to my tires on that day of poor decision.
Literally or figuratively, we don’t want to go down the streets where we once ventured unwisely – whether by accident or on purpose. Walking or driving past food or drink for sale, past movie displays, past someone’s house; seeing a certain make of automobile, a name, a word, a color – many objects and thoughts can trigger memories of things we said or did that we wish we hadn’t.
As we celebrate Easter, remember that our holy God does not want to look on reminders of sin, either. I have a feeling that’s not only because he will not tolerate sin. I have a feeling it’s because when God looks at sin He sees His only Son in agony, nailed to a cross. That’s what we need to see, too, when we think about our sins and about the sins of the human race as a whole. The image of Jesus suffering is needed for us to grasp what sin really is, what it did, what it does, and why we need to treat it as a serious spiritual illness – for which we know and have access to the cure.
Easter is a two-fold event. A happy occasion precipitated by a sad fact. The greatest victory over the worst trouble. When reminded of the painful past, let’s be sure we don’t let mourning and sorrow win. Instead, we turn thoughts of regret into praise and thanksgiving that we have been forgiven and delivered! What Satan wishes to use for accusation and taunting, we make into a reason for honoring and glorifying our risen, victorious Savior, Jesus Christ. We take harmful thoughts “captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) That’s the kind of Savior I have, the kind of Master I serve, the kind of Lord I own. This risen, forgiving King will reign over me forever.