A Whitewashed Deck

The past few days I’ve been re-staining my front deck.  The pickets, rails, and posts are white while the decking is a darker stain.  Before I stained, I attempted to pressure wash all the dirt and pollen off the pickets and posts.  I must confess it had been a few years since I really cleaned it, and it looked good after washing it (well, most of it).  I then began the tedious process of applying stain to the pickets, posts, and handrails only to discover the spots I had missed with the pressure washer.  And I bet you can guess what I did.  I covered up the blackness, dirt, and pollen with the white stain.  And it looks great and clean!

However, with nearly every brush stroke of white stain over every crevice filled with black dirt, I was reminded of Jesus’ criticism of the Pharisees in Matthew 23:27-28.  In these two verses Jesus called them “whitewashed tombs” clean on the outside, but full of dead bones and uncleanness on the inside.  As I “whitewashed” the dirt missed by the pressure washer  I thought of my own hypocrisy, self-righteousness, and sinfulness.  I wondered, “Am I just ‘whitewashing’ my own sin?  Am I just covering up the inward depravity with an outward display of righteousness?”  I think we all sometimes display outwardly what is not genuinely true of us inwardly.

But then God reminded me that He did not cover the blackness of my sin with a white stain bought from Lowes.  He covered the blackness of my sin with the blood stains of His precious Son, Jesus Christ.  His blood stain is permanent, not temporary.  When God stains us it is not to “whitewash” the outside, but to “cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).  He has made us new on the inside and outside (2 Corinthians 5:17).  It is now my responsibility to walk in Spirit’s new life and in the righteousness God has given me (Galatians 5:16).  In other words, by God’s grace, I’m not “whitewashed,” I’m “bloodwashed.”

2 thoughts on “A Whitewashed Deck

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