Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Ephesians 1:7-8 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
In 2011, a major renovation took place on the ceiling art in the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo spent four torturous years (1508 to 1512) on the monumental undertaking, painting in fresco more than 400 larger-than-life scenes of mankind’s origins and early history from the Bible on the ceiling of the Vatican chapel. Scaffolding was erected, and workers began the tedious and painstaking job of restoring the paintings to their original condition. Part way through the renovation, regular attenders to the chapel looked up and were shocked to see the bright and vivid colors of people’s faces and garments on the areas that had been restored. They were convinced that the workers were desecrating the original masterpiece by adding paint. They were so used to looking at the dingy and grayed colors that they believed that’s how they were originally painted.
When questioned, the crew chief in charge of the restoration explained what had happened. For years the chapel, prior to the installation of electricity, had been lighted by burning torches. Layers of soot and ashes had accumulated on the ceiling, dulling the colors of the painting. A careful removal of the dirt revealed the beauty of the original creation.
This is a perfect picture of God’s work of redemption in our lives. Years of sin have stained us. We have come to believe that this is how we were intended to look. We use the world’s palette of opportunities to attempt to paint new color onto our lives, but every brush stroke makes us wonder what really lies beneath. We have an insatiable desire to see the original version of who we were supposed to be.
That’s what God does when he redeems us. Redemption is the restoration of our lives to their original version. Just as the careful application of soap and water had washed away the years of soot from the ceiling, the gracious application of the blood of Jesus washes away the years of sin from our lives. The beauty of the Creator’s work is revealed. We are holy. We are blameless. We are the sons of God with full rights of inheritance. We are blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing available from heaven. We have been lavished with the riches of God’s grace. We have been truly loved. We have been restored.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for the gift of redemption.