Alexander the Great commissioned an artist to paint a portrait of himself. He was the famous Greek conqueror of the world! He had never once lost a battle. And he wanted this picture to be one way for people to remember him for centuries to come.
But there was one problem. From a wound that he had received in battle, he had a visible scar on one cheek. What should the artist do? Should he risk the king’s displeasure and paint the scar? Or should he make the painting less than lifelike by leaving it out? Here’s the solution the artist invented: he asked King Alexander to pose on his throne in thoughtful reflection. His well-placed hand would cover the scar.
What if God tried to paint a real, genuine portrait of our soul? What if each sin we’ve committed was a scar he had to include? We would each look hideous, like a huge, infected wound oozing pus that is already infected and is life-threatening. There’s no way we could cover up our ugly sins with one well-placed hand…the nastiness is too enormous. What’s more, God’s honest justice must punish every sin, every time. A well-placed hand won’t make sin’s scars vanish into thin air.
So God decided upon another way. It would cost him his only Son, but that was the price he was willing to pay. Jesus Christ transferred all of our sinful scars to his own soul. He footed the entire bill, all by himself. But that’s not all – he also transferred all of his perfect, unscarred life back to our souls. In the end, the real, genuine portrait of our soul is perfect and Christlike. It really is! Christ’s forgiveness is that thorough! There’s no need to hide from God. We don’t need to be deceitful and try to cover up the ugliness. We stand forgiven before an all-knowing, sin-despising God. We stand in peace. The Scripture says, “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against him, and in whose spirit is no deceit (Psalm 32:1-2).”
Forgiven! Forever! That’s who we are in Christ. Enjoy the transparency!
Prayer: Gracious God, I thank you for comforting me with your promise: “Blessed is the one whose trasngressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.” Strengthen my faith, Lord. Help me to live the rest of my days in your glory and peace. Encourage me that my sinful ugliness has been removed, for real, forever by your Son Jesus Christ. Give me a rich measure of your love, that I may be as merciful to others as you have been merciful to me. Hear my prayer through Jesus Christ, who alone covers all my sins in your sight. Amen.