Can anything take sin away?

You and I know that sin piles up.

There’s something about it that fills up our lives and eventually drowns us. In any relationship you probably suspect that sin and wrong adds to previous sin and wrong don’t you? I know people who are very good at ignoring the build-up but you can only ignore them for so long before they go over your head.

When I say things to my wife that I shouldn’t I pour sin into her life and she has to deal with the consequences of that every day. She responds in anger and pours some back into my life. When I add sin to her life I actually pour it into my own life and have to live with not just the guilt, but the ramifications like broken trust and friendship and …. and ….

It just keeps piling up.

We used to walk free in THAT relationship but not anymore… now it feels like we’re living underwater and trying to do all the things we’d like to do but with a handicap that keeps growing. That’s the part that worries us. You can numb it with alcohol or fun but in the back of our minds we know that when sin builds up and goes over our heads we stop breathing and try to escape.

This is when divorce happens. This is when children leave home and don’t talk to you anymore. This is when friends are no longer friends.

I illustrate this in my sermon which you can watch below by pouring water into a glass container with a figurine of myself in it. When I can’t breathe that relationship dies and I move on. When I can’t pay the rent I move on to the next town until I can’t pay the rent anymore. When life with Her becomes untenable you move on to another Her. And you keep moving.

Red light.
Green light.
Green represents sin because sin can grow anywhere. Like thistles and weeds. Green light means GO! Keep moving! Don’t stop! Keep doing what you’re doing and when that doesn’t work move on to the next thing and keep doing the same thing!

I wish I did what Smart people do more often: Smart people stop at Red lights. Smart people stop and think. Smart people ask themselves where they’re going and if they’re even on the right road in the first place? Smart people stop and evaluate.

Evaluate this:

If sin only accumulates and eventually destroys every relationship you have, you really want to know if anything can take sin away? You’d better have a solution to the problem or kiss that person goodbye!

“Without the shedding of blood there in no remission”

Weird that the Bible would say this…
Remission is forgiveness. Remission drains sin away as if it never happened in the first place. Remission says “You don’t owe me anymore” and sometimes “(You couldn’t pay me what you owe anyways)”

It’s not that foreign of a concept when you think about it. You know that forgiveness costs you a pound of flesh. You know you have to bleed to forgive someone. We’re all about “justice” in the world but no one asks for justice when they are talking about their own sins. I don’t. I want to be forgiven by you when I do stupid stuff!

I’m Irish so you’d better believe that forgiveness doesn’t come easy for me. It’s easier to light someone on fire than forgive them! Never forgive! Never forget!

My dad always said that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the OTHER person dies. Ain’t that the truth!

We want THEM to pay even to the point of blindly hurting the people we love and are trying to defend! We want the offender to pay even if it hurts US! Poison! Unforgiveness is just another sin, but the reality is that for the other person to drown in their sin we’ll have to drown too!

“But how can I forgive them? That’s like condoning what they did!”

No it’s not. It’s just releasing them from what they owe you. You know they can’t pay you for it anyways. You can’t go back and undo what was done in the first place, but when you release them you actually step out of chains yourself! Sin isn’t condoned and abuse should never be ignored or go undealt with! There are consequences that should be paid and punishments that need to happen!

This is true. But when it’s our sin we don’t want it to be true.

Can anything take away MY sin?
Will it accumulate and go over my head?
Will I drown in it?

Without the shedding of blood there is no remission. Sin piles up.

That’s why Jesus came. We rarely think about what we owe our Creator but the cost of our sin is a terrifying reality. He knew we were drowning in it and cared too much about us to do nothing.  He sent His Son to die a horrible death to drain our sin away so we could breathe again and be restored to Him.

He bled for it. He died for me.

I’m forgiven and that’s what makes me grateful this Christmas.

I guess I’d better forgive some people now…


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