The Vanishing Act

One of the most common tricks in a magic show is a vanishing act. The magician produces an object — sometimes small, sometimes preposterously large — then makes it disappear right before our eyes. A lot of people in my city seem to think that they possess this magical ability. They take something, usually something they don’t want, and make it disappear. Landscapers blow grass clippings and leaves into the street after mowing a lawn. The passing cars make the mess vanish. People driving down the road toss cups and cigarettes out their windows. Out of sight… out of mind. Today, as I was leaving work, I saw a fast food bag stuffed with other garbage sitting on the white line between parking spaces. It was 10 feet away from a garbage can. The driver who put it there was clearly in too much of a hurry. It made me think of the messes we humans leave behind: broken hearts, torn relationships, wasted lives.

Only one Person has the “magical power” to make those messes disappear. Through the death of Jesus on the cross, God created the way to make sin vanish. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18b Only God can take a life, wash it in blood and have it come out cleaner than when it went in. A magician can only make something “disappear” by placing it somewhere hidden until it is retrieved again. The things God makes disappear can never be found again… “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12 While we may still have to deal with the consequences of our actions here on earth, we are clean in His eyes.

“Lord, I am thankful that You don’t just brush dirt off my shoulders and leave it in a trail behind me. I am thankful that You don’t look back on the path I’ve walked and see a line of garbage bags and stains. Thank You for the cleansing blood of Jesus. Thank you for making my sins disappear.”


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