Writing Archives - April 8, 2012 (Easter)
You Can Shine
Some days, I don’t feel like a light. I know that Jesus said to His followers, “You are the light of the world,”1 but can that really apply to you and me? It’s easy to be afraid to shine. We know the dirt of our thoughts, words, and actions. We wear the stain of our imperfection. We tend to carry the shame of our sin. It’s enough to dim any light.
Jesus also said, “I am the light of the world.” That, we understand. Perfect, blameless, holy, God incarnate – of course, He’s the light of the world. But us? You and me? Miraculously, yes.
Easter marks the celebration of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. It’s a reminder of the reason our Savior came: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”2 The beauty of this miraculous restoration to our God comes through the confession of sin and the acceptance of His forgiveness.
When King David sinned with Bathsheba, his restoration came through his brokenness and confession: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”3
His admission of guilt – not the covering, justification, or concealment of it – began the process of restoration. Yet in the next sentence David expressed what becomes the sticking point for many believers: “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.”4
This is where we, as confessing believers, must move beyond. Satan is deemed the “accuser of the brethren.” He whispers our sin in our ears, intimidating us into submission to him, instead of obedience to God. Reflexively, we hide the light that Jesus called us to be. But again, David reminds us of the reality of God’s mercy and forgiveness: “Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.”5
Imagine the days before computers or even pencils, when men wrote with quills and drew from inkwells. Once the ink hit the parchment, it was committed. There was no erasing it. Like our sin, the letters and words were forever there. The only way to negate them was to blot it out by covering it with more ink. Such is the blood that Jesus shed for our sin. It doesn’t eliminate our errant ways, but covers them. Once blotted, the mistake can be seen, but the specifics cannot be read. The condemnation that comes from these blemishes on the parchment of our lives does not come from God. Christ came to write a new narrative, yet the enemy tries to focus our attention on the dark blots. We must not listen.
David expanded on the process of God’s grace: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”6
This is the miracle of forgiveness. It is the joy of Easter. And it is what enables us to be the light that Jesus declared us to be. In the next verses, David enters into the result of God’s graciousness: “Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise.”7
You who are forgiven, who have received the undeserved mercy of God through His Son, can teach the world His ways and turn people back to Him. You can open your mouth in praise. You need not be shamed into silence, because the truth of your sin is blotted out by the greater truth of God’s grace. Once you understand this truth, you can truly be the light of the world. So believe His word, enter into His joy, and let your light shine.
1 Matthew 5:14, NIV
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