Sin is violent. It cuts. It wounds. It tortures and maims. It rapes and plunders and you don’t even know that you are wounded until it is too late. Why? Because before it destroys, it first dazzles. Then it blinds. Then it numbs. And before you know it, you can’t feel the knife that you are pushing into your chest. You can’t feel your blood pouring hot over your hands. All you see is the shiny, beautiful blade. You pull it closer to your heart. You won’t let go. You cherish it. And then the light fades from your eyes. Your life is gone. And there is no beauty there. Nothing shines here. There is only darkness and death. Too graphic? Not even close. Words fall short in describing the deadly and dark aftermath of sin.
I know this because this is my story. This is your story, too. This is the story of every person who has ever been born with this human condition called sin. From the cradle to the grave this is in us. This is the screaming voice we hear day in and day out. Take that knife. Look at it. It is beautiful. Look how it shines in the light. And we take it. And we injure our hearts. And we offer the same to others.
But then something happens that changes everything. In the midst of our self destruction, we hear a different Voice. This one is not screaming. It is still. Small. It says, “Open your eyes.” And some of us do. And for the first time we see what we are holding in our hands. We see not the dazzling shine, but the sharp blade that we were plunging into our hearts. We see the blood everywhere. We realize that we are dying. We are afraid. We look up toward the voice, and there He is. His eyes are steady. He is not surprised by the mess we are in. “Do you want to be made well?” He asks. “Yes.” He takes the knife from our hands…from our heart. He plunges it into His own. “No!” We scream. He is not like us. He has never been deceived. He has never seen this blade as dazzling or beautiful. He is not blind. He knows it is death. He is not numb. He feels it. He knows that He is bleeding. And then He does the unimaginable. He breaks the blade off in His own chest. He throws the handle of the knife to the ground. He takes us by the shoulders, looks deep into our eyes and says, “This will never hurt you again….My life for yours.”
You see, the only thing more violent than sin…is grace. Jesus staggered under the weight of the cross that we deserved, with His eyes wide open. He was not deceived into this. He had no ulterior motive. He had unfathomable love. His life for ours. “But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5.
So the next time you find sin looking awfully shiny and beautiful, and you find yourself wanting to reach for it… remember that it is not what it appears to be. It is death. And its power has been broken…right in the heart of your Savior.