Saturday, March 30, 2024

 The Trade


I’ve got problems. For the most part, I am ok with this fact, mostly because…so do you.  In fact, we all have problems, it’s just that some of us know it and some of us don’t.  Yet, even with that reality, I (we) likely have problems that I (we) am still as of yet, totally unaware that I (we) have. 

For example, a week ago I was driving home on a Saturday, after having spent some time reviewing and tweaking my sermon for the Sunday morning service.  I had spent some time at the office as well as the local bakery.  Some of my best work is done with a donut being stuffed between my teeth.  Overall, it was a problem free morning.  Yet, as I entered into the three block radius of my home, I noticed a Silver Dodge Grand Caravan parked in front of a neighbor’s home.  The vehicle looked strikingly similar to the one that my daughter is currently the primary operator of. 

Though there are Silver Dodge Grand Caravan’s in nearly every block of every city in the continental United States, it seemed to me that even from a distance that this was, indeed, our van.  There are a few unique indicators that set our vehicle apart from others, such as the dark bug deflector on the hood, the half eroded Little Falls Cross Country decal on the rear window…the rust…the bald tires…the tiny little bright colored plastic ducks and chicks lining the dashboard, the Holstein patterned steering wheel cover, and of course the “baby Yoda” phone cradle on the heating vent. 

I find it interesting how my children have taken to personalizing these vehicles that are still titled in my name.  My daughter has placed all kinds of scents and fresheners and accents to the inside of her vehicle. While my son’s vehicle is filled with filthy football clothes, cleats, sweaty shirts, fishing gear, (including portable ice house and auger), and one oversized stuffed Mickey Mouse doll pulled from a neighbor’s dumpster.

Despite how much ownership as they have taken to these cars,  their “ownership” seems to suddenly go out the window when the cost of repairing the power steering, the dead battery or the wheel that falls off on the way to school, becomes a factor of ownership.

As I drew near the van on this Saturday afternoon, my first instinct was to question what boy lived at this house and why my daughter was parked here, along with what must I do to this now unfortunate teenager?  I soon found that this was not the issue and a teenage boy was not my immediate problem. Yet, my Saturday afternoon was by no means problem free.  It appeared that while I was away from the house working, problems were arising that I had no idea were becoming a reality.  The left rear tire of the van was flat…in fact it was entirely mangled.  The tire was not unlike a tough steak that has been chewed and spit out, being too tough to swallowed. 

It was time to fix yet another problem. 

About 120 minutes, and dollars, later the problem was fixed.

There are other problems in life that time and money cannot fix. 

In fact, there is a problem that all humans face; though not all may be aware of the problem.  We may be driving through this life, totally unaware that there is a proverbial van with a flat tire that needs our attention. 

Our greatest problem…My greatest problem, is not a flat tire.  It is sin.  I know that I sin.  I know that I sin a whole lot more that I care to admit or even am aware of.  I, like all humans, have a propensity to justify my actions and pretend that I live a pretty good life…a life that is not as bad as others.  Yet, the biblical truth is that my sin condemns me to death and an eternity in Hell.  Yep! The Bible talks about a real place called Hell and that is where I belong.  In fact, that is the ONLY place that I am headed unless my sin problem is repaired and I have NO ability to fix my sin problem. 

Yet, I know that is not where I am headed.  Not because I have done some secret task or earned enough credits from good deeds somehow building up imaginary karma.  It is because of what we celebrate at Easter.  When Jesus went to the Cross, he fixed my sin problem.  2 Corinthians 5:21, tells us of how Jesus fixes our sin problem.  It says that He, Jesus, who had never committed one single sin…BECAME sin.  Jesus offers us a trade.  He makes a trade with us...he takes our sin…though he is innocent…and in return he gives us His righteousness. 

If you want to engage in this incredibly unfair trade: all you have to do is agree with it.  “Ok, Jesus…let me get this straight…You will take my sin…and give me your Holiness?...Your Righteousness?...Your Perfectness?...if I simply ask you to do it?”


“How can this be the case?”

“Because the tomb is empty! I am ALIVE! All Authority has been given to me!  I can do it, because it is finished!  What do you say?  Will you follow me?”

No comments:

Post a Comment