1.01.2014

The 'Clean Slate' and the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

I love the newness of a brand new year.  As the pain, loss, heartache, and disappointments of the previous year (which ended just hours ago) fade into the past, many people excitedly anticipate the achievements and goals the new year brings with it.

But it's not just the newness of a brand new year that I like, it's the newness of a clean slate, a new start that captures my wonder.  I remember feeling it in high school calculus.  Mr. LaRue would encourage his [struggling] students at the start of each new semester, "You start with a clean slate.  Last semester was last semester."  Those simple words encouraged me -- although they still failed to inspire greatness in my calculus skills.  That same feeling carries over to graduation, to beginning college, to beginning a new job/career.  The possibilities are endless, and I am encouraged by all the fresh starts I -- we -- have been given throughout our lives.

But there's one new start that captures my heart the most, and that's the newness of life in Jesus Christ.  See, the "clean slate" theory didn't begin in calculus.  It didn't begin with the turn of the century.  It began long before that, long before any of us were ever born.  The clean slate finds its roots in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve sinned in their disobedience to their Creator.  He picked them up, "wiped them off", so to speak, and made for them coverings to cover their nakedness.  In essence, it was a matter of forgiveness, of newness of life with Him.  His forgiveness didn't change all that had transpired leading up to it, but God was reaching out to Man, making a "clean slate".

Today, you and I have been offered a wonderful gift of forgiveness.  We have been offered a clean slate that finds its roots at the foot of the Cross of Jesus Christ.  The "clean slate" theory is the message of the Good News of Jesus Christ.  There we find restoration, redemption, forgiveness, wholeness, newness, innocence.

Maybe you have been rotten.  Maybe you have committed sins that you hope never find you out, sins that would make seasoned veterans blush.  Whether we have lied or stolen, lusted or committed adultery, hated or committed murder -- the Bible proclaims truthfully that we are all under the curse of sin.  Satan wants to keep reminding us of all we have done, of the person we've become, of what we could not possibly become, to steal our soul, to rob us of life.  But Jesus Christ came to give abundant life, to forgive our sins, to make us right with God, to redeems us, to make us whole, to give us a clean slate (John 10:10).  Jesus Christ not only removes that curse of sin, He destroys it!

So as you reflect on the physical "clean slate" of this new year, take time to reflect on the "clean slate" offered to you in Jesus Christ.

3 comments:

  1. I Am Always Encouraged And Amazed With Your Clarity Of Thought To Paper As You Deal With The Reality Of OUr Human Condition. Thank You .

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  2. Amen! And well said. When I think of a clean slate I imagine a load being lifted off a person accustomed to heavy burdens and hardship. And I can almost feel this hypothetical person's relief when they realize they don't have to carry that weight anymore. Relieved and refreshed!

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