August 31, 2013
(God said) "... They shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more." Hebrews 8:11b-12
Scripture says if you are in Christ, you are a new creation. My question is are you?
A lawyer moved into the community, hung out his shingle, and buried himself in his new practice. In the morning the townspeople saw him walk to work; in the evening he reversed the process. He was always alone; his head always hung low, and his shoulders always stooped. Even more, his face always seemed to show a sense of ongoing and profound sadness.
One day the lawyer confessed to a Christian artist that when he was just starting out, he had committed a grave error. That sin from yesterday was still, even now, weighing him down. The artist listened, but he gave no guidance or suggestions ... at least not then.
Weeks later, he invited the lonely lawyer to come to his studio and see a newly completed painting. The attorney arrived and was surprised when he saw himself in the picture. Yes, it was his likeness, but it was somehow different. In the picture he had his shoulders back, his head lifted up, and a look of hope was shown in his smiling face.
Behind him in the background of that picture was a hill, and on that hill, an empty cross. At the foot of the cross had been placed, along with many others, a great, heavy package. The artist was implying that the lawyer had left his burden at the cross. At the cross he had found forgiveness and peace, which had made him a new creation.
The artist affirmed the lawyer's interpretation of the painting.
But the artist went deeper when he pointed to the other packages at the cross. "These," he said, "were packages that once belonged to other people." Although he didn't identify which one, the author acknowledged that one of those boxes had been his.
The boxes were different in size and content, but they had this in common: they had all been left at the cross.
That picture is one for all of us since all of us need to know that when Jesus is your Savior, when your sins are washed away, you become a new creature. Now I don't know what that good news does for you. I can tell you what it did to the lawyer.
Carefully, he considered, "Is this how God wants me to look? Can burdens really be left at the cross? Is it possible?"
Then, having had the Holy Spirit give a "yes" answer to all of His questions -- by the power of God's grace -- the lawyer became a new creation.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You carried the sins of the entire world to Your cross. Since Your work has been successfully completed, help me realize it is impossible for me to carry forgiven sins a second time. In Your Name I give thanks for all You have done and continue to do. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries