OK, I’ll come out and admit it.
I have a fixation with rubbish bins (or trash cans if you’re a US reader).
If you don’t believe me, note that this is my second blog post on the topic.
I kind of enjoy watching the garbage trucks shuffle and roar through the streets every week, systematically stopping at each house to scoop up the red, yellow or green leftovers of our lives.
I think about the humility it might require to do a job like this. To dutifully rise early in the morning, routinely handle other people’s junk, and willingly intervene when rubbish has fallen by the wayside.
I find it fascinating to watch the trucks taking care of a week’s worth of castaways from each and every house – unwanted items that we, as wealthy Westerners, cavalierly cast off our shoulders.
Every week we can choose to be free of our burdens, in a sense.
If only the issues of our emotional lives could be handled that simply…
If only we had a garbage man to drive over and take care of a week’s worth of worries, a week’s worth of struggles, a week’s worth of dirt and mess and shame…
Or perhaps a year’s worth… or a decade’s…
If only someone could set us free from all the guilt, the regret and haunting memories… and the bitterness we sometimes carry.
I reflect on this…
And then I consider Jesus.
I ponder the freedom, the grace, the mercy, the cleansing, the healing my Saviour offers.
He gently lifts the rubbish off our stooped shoulders and puts it on his own.
He already did that, actually, on the cross.
Isaiah 53:2- speaks of the humility of Jesus in taking on our ‘stuff’:
He (Jesus) was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
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.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity (sin) of us all.
Each and every one of us has the opportunity to lay our sin on his shoulders.
We don’t have to bear it anymore.
In Christ we, the sheep, find forgiveness, redemption and freedom.
In one humble, sacrificial act, Jesus scooped up the rubbishy remains of our bad choices – and those of others – and took them on himself.
And he cleansed us, once and for all, by his blood.
Then he rose from the dead to show that he is God.
God did this for us…
May each and every one of us live our lives in recognition that the garbage removal job has already been done. All we need to do is believe in Jesus and ask for his forgiveness. And then… life really begins for the first time.
We have reason to celebrate.
The bin is empty, once and for all.