One of our weaknesses as humans is the tendency to think that our past is like a fleeting puff of smoke, a short-lived remnant of our deeds. Perhaps this is not the driver for a continuance of actions done in error, but it surely accommodates them. The quicker we dismiss the guilt, the sooner we can move on to the next misdeed. We even declare to our own minds and to each other that our dark actions are acceptable, right, and even deserved.
Over the last two weeks, I have periodically enjoyed looking at a book with lots of pictures of stonework. This morning I browsed a few pages of carved and etched stone. Fascinating! You can tell a story in the stone. Its a relatively permanent way to preserve our message. But I wonder if our past is more like a carving in stone than a puff of smoke. It is etched, done, recorded, and on display to Him who sees all. We have set our stones in the forest, to be hidden. It is safe there, we think. But the forest will burn, and all will be laid bare before Him, to whom we will have to give an account. Our history is etched. It is a despairing thought.
But a New Stone has been set. On it is masterfully carved another story. Near the center of this historical stone is the the cross which bore Jesus, stained from His own blood. Then is depicted upon this stone another stone which appears to have been rolled away from the entrance of a tomb. I pause to ponder these etchings and also think of my own stones and the dark story that they tell. I look further on the stone and see a depiction of my stones. On it the Master Carver is there. The depiction shows me trying to fix my own stones. Nothing works. But as it depicts me looking to Him and He is pointing to the scenes of His crucifixion, I am depicted with arms stretched to Him. In the next scenes, He is washing my stones with His own blood. The surge of excitement to see the result overcomes me. His blood is the only agent that is capable of dealing with my stones. Knowing what I have done on my own stones, I am drawn to look back at my own real stones. It has been a while since I looked. All the guilt and shame that once overcame me when I would look back, is no longer there. To my exhilaration, they have been washed, cleaned by the blood of the Master Carver. He loved me so much as to come and clean my stones. I am awed by His Love. I could never have cleaned my own stones. My tools cannot alter those stones. But now it is done.
As now I have the opportunity to walk with the Master Carver each day, I often pause and thank Him for what He did for me. He reminds me:
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1
But as I look around, I still see many whose stones depict their sins. They are laboring with all kinds of things to try to fix them. Some have turned to Eastern meditations, some have turned to the moon god, who disguises himself in various forms as an angel of light, deceiving many into Islam, Freemasonry, and even straight out Satanism. Some have pursued a false savior who looks like Jesus, but they are still left to their own devices.
There is power only in Jesus to have your sins forgiven. All others are impostors claiming to have the solution and drawing you into their grips. Ultimately, those grips are from the father of lies, Satan, whose natural language is lies, spewed out all over the world to deceive many into false hopes. There is but a little time left in this age of God's grace where you can have your sins forgiven, your stones cleaned, if you will. The Master Carver calls us to turn to Him, to believe in Him. He will keep His word.