Imagine you have all your possessions taken away. Then you have your family taken away, your freedom taken away and your comfort taken away. Imagine your future plans are taken away – a holiday, marriage, children whatever they are, and then consider that your very life is about to be taken away. I hope it is as hard for you to think about that and image in as it is for me. Now, how would you react if Jesus said to you “you are rich”. Would you know what he is talking about? Would you say, even in the midst of the pain and suffering, “yes, I know” or would you go “What? Are you joking?”. In Revelation 2:8-11 we have Jesus’ words to Christians in the city of Smyrna. They had had everything taken away from them yet he says to them “you are rich” Rev 2:.9.
When was the last time you checked how much money you had in your pocket or bank account or under the mattress? Probably not too long ago. When was the last time you audited the riches you have in Christ. Let’s do a bit of that now shall we:
John, one of Jesus’ disciples and the one passing on Jesus’ words to the church in Smyrna, says “God so loves the world that he gave us his son” and Paul in his letter to the Ephesians opens up the treasure chest that is Jesus Christ:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, (ESV) Eph 1:3
First, we are forgiven. We have “the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” Eph v8. That is defiantly something to treasure: A clean slate. Have you ever written on a white board with the wrong pen? There is one sort that is water based and another, more permanent marker that is not water soluble. For former rubs of with a gentle wipe of the finger or a cloth, while the latter if left unchanged by even the most forceful scrubbing. The trick in such cases is to find the right solvent. I think I have used white Spirit before to make the board all clean and white again.
Well the thing with sin is that we think its water soluble. We scrawl all over our lives and other peoples thinking it will all rub off but it doesn’t. We are left permanently stained. As we grow older those things we though of as silly little doodles can become more shameful and painful to us. No amount of money or achievement or sorrow can remove it. We try to mask it, but that’s just like taking the batteries out of your smoke detector, or hiding your peas under your knife and fork. If only we could find the solvent.
Well, the only solvent that wipes off sin is the blood of Jesus. Money could not buy it but it but it’s part of the treasure we have in Christ. Though faith in Jesus death on the cross we can really be “blameless in his sight” v4.
I am so happy that my heart has been sprinkled to cleanse it from a guilty conscience Heb 10:22. That though my sins where like scarlet they are as white as snow Isaiah 1:18.