PRINCIPLE: “When you're all muddy, look for the mud.”
While I often ignore television ads, one repeatedly grabs my attention. A man is test driving a pick-up truck. While doing so he drives it over rough roads and through muddy terrain. So when he pulls back into the dealership the truck is thoroughly covered with mud. He meets the salesman in front of the truck. First the salesman casts a wary and surprised eye on the filthy, mud-covered truck; then he looks at the man with wondering eyes. After a brief pause, the man rubs his hand across the muddy hood and reaches out his now muddied hand to to shake with the salesman. The stunned salesman hesitates – but realizing he's about to make a sale, rubs his hand across the muddy hood and with his newly muddied hand shakes to seal the deal. He sealed the deal by taking the mud on himself.
What a picture of Jesus! He sealed the deal for our salvation by taking all our mud upon Himself. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us...” (2Cor. 5:21) It's not just that He bore and carried our sins – He became sin for us. He was thoroughly covered with the mud of our sin; He became mud. Why? “...so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” As The Message puts it, “God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.”
“When you're all muddy, look for the mud.” When overwhelmed with guilt, when muddied by our sins, we look to Jesus. We offer him our mud – Jesus doesn't share the mud with us, He graciously removes it from us and takes it onto Himself. And we are clean! The deal was sealed on the cross! “When you're all muddy, look for the mud.”
Recently I received some junk email – I didn't open it but the heading caught my attention: “Your neighbor, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband - find out all the dirt on them” It's not our task to discover and find the dirt on others; we have enough dirt of our own. But it is our task to make sure others know that however thick the mud on them, there is One who is ready to wash it all away. We do not look for mud on others, but we look to the mud on Jesus. “When you're all muddy, look for the mud.” As John the Baptist said when Jesus was approaching him for baptism, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) The Apostle John later wrote, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9) It's the message for us, and for all dirtied with the mud of sin.
Is your life muddied by sin? How long has it been since you've let Jesus wash you? Do you have acquaintances who lives are covered with mud? How long has it been since you invited them to look to Jesus? “When you're all muddy, look for the mud.” Take comfort in, and receive strength from the Apostle Paul (Eph. 2:4-9): “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions” (covered with mud)—“it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God ...”
Don't let sin overtake you – let Jesus take over your sin. “When you're all muddy, look for the mud.”