A few years ago, when our kids were in high school, their youth pastor shared a great lesson on sin. It was a warm day in late summer when he and some of the parents spent the morning moving rocks and dumping water in the large dirt field behind our church. After several hours and many gallons of water, the field was cleared and the earth was properly prepared for the youth’s annual “mud football” game!

When the teens arrived they were quick to jump right in without a second thought and begin the game. It was an exciting few hours of running, sliding and falling in the thick mud. There was a lot of laughter as the kids became increasingly covered from head to foot in the gooey wet dirt. I know…it was a mother’s worst laundry nightmare, but we had all been warned!

When the game was finished, the youth pastor asked the exhausted and dirt-covered teens to all sit down in the center of the muddy field. As they laughingly sat, he started to share his lesson. The sun was hot and began to bake the sticky mud on their skin. Soon, as it began to dry and crack it became obvious to the parents watching that our kids were becoming uncomfortable and wanted to be hosed off. However, they would have to wait a few minutes longer.

The pastor talked about how sin is like the mud that was covering the teens. In the beginning the lure of sin can be strong and difficult to resist. It can look attractive and even fun as we rush in. Surely splashing around in it for a bit wouldn’t cause any problems. It wouldn’t be so bad…would it? But, just like the feeling of the mud that was covering them, making their skin feel tight and dry, the consequences of sin don’t feel very good. What begins as something we think might be “fun”, turns into pain and suffering as we are covered in the dirt from our actions. The analogy hit home…and not only to the teens.

But praise God we have a Savior who can wash us clean! When we come to Him and confess our sins with a repentant heart, He is faithful to purify us and make us sparkling and new! Jesus Christ is the antidote for our sin. He took our sins upon Himself and died on the cross in our place to save us from eternal separation from God. "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21).
And what does that mean for us? Glory to God, it means that the old is gone and the new has come! We are no longer chained to our muddy pasts. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we can now enter into a personal relationship with God, our Father. Jesus paid the price for our transgressions and we are new creations through Him! “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

And the kids? Well, the final part of this analogy was their hosing down! They jumped at the chance to be rinsed clean. With cries of delight, they stood under the spray of water as the mud was washed from their skin. By the end of the day, all of them had heard the message of Christ and celebrated His cleansing love!

Rinsed clean,

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