When I was a child I cleaned my father’s car to earn extra pocket money. One shilling and sixpence (seven and a half pence in decimal coinage) was what I was paid back in the 60s, and then only after a careful inspection of the vehicle by Dad to ensure that a proper job had been done. While pennies could be deducted as a result of the inspection, Dad’s preference was that I returned to ensure that any bits I had missed were clean so that he could pay me in full.
I have to confess that I while I do not like driving a dirty car I do not get the chance to clean mine as much as I would like. Often I nip out with a bucket of water and a sponge to do a ten-minute tidy up so that I can see out of the windows and to make the car look almost presentable. But the big giveaway is always the wheels. Oh how I aspired to alloy wheels as a young man. Oh I hate cleaning them now that I have alloys. When I look at my wheels I know how long it is since the car was cleaned.
Yesterday I spent all afternoon cleaning both our cars. I enjoy being outdoors and the process of absorbing myself in the task. I also enjoy standing back and looking at the finished product and knowing I have done a good job. Although everything sparkles I know that there is still dirt in places I cannot reach, but as those places cannot be seen it is not an issue. After all, once even a new car has spent a few minutes on the road it will be never factory clean again.
Waking up this Easter morning to an orange glow in the eastern sky I feel clean. Not factory clean, but sparking on the outside and on the inside, even though I haven’t been in the shower yet. I feel clean because I am overwhelmed by the knowledge that Jesus Christ accepted the punishment that should have been mine when He allowed Roman soldiers to beat Him and nail Him to a cross like a common criminal. I know that because of Jesus I am forgiven completely. Because of Jesus payment has been made in full and God has welcomed me into His Kingdom. Because of Jesus I can enjoy a relationship with my Creator that would otherwise not be possible because even when I look clean there is still dirt in hidden and inaccessible places.
This Easter morning I worship God with tears of gratitude and joy, relieved that God accepts me just as I am because of Jesus. I know I am an imperfect human being, but Jesus showed me the extent of God’s indescribable love for me despite my imperfection as He surrendered His perfection in my place. How can I not kneel before Him.
Hallelujah! He is risen. He is risen indeed.
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” (Luke 24:1-6 NIV)