On 23rd March 1997 Michael J Davis sent the following to the uk.religion.christian newsgroup. I rather liked it, so I reproduce it here.
Preparing for a talk I prayed. A picture came to mind. It seemed as though I stood before the throne of my Father God in heaven. On my right was an angelic figure reading from an open book. I could not understand the language.
Curiosity overcame me, I stood on tiptoe (for I seemed strangely diminutive in this scene) and peered over to look at the book. At first all I could see was reddish scrawl, but then I realised that my misdeeds, my sins, all my secret desires had all been carefully written in the book. In ink? I leant across and frantically tried to erase a few words. Nothing changed, it seemed indelible. I remembered that when I was younger, we had “indelible” pencils that wrote like ordinary pencils unless they were licked first, when no eraser would touch the rich purple mark.
I understood that the figure with the book was the recording angel. It appeared that I had been followed all my life and my deeds recorded. Somehow, only the bad ones got written down. For this was no angel. This was Satan, the accuser, standing before the very throne of God persuading Him to release me to his power.
Again I looked and realised that the writing was blood. My blood? I thought, and then realised that it was Jesus’ blood. The enormity of what I saw came home to me. Every wrong, each misdemeanour, and even my little acts of thoughtlessness, had caused not just mental anguish, but physical pain to my Lord. In spite of my acknowledging Him as Lord, I had sinned, and had drawn blood for each one. This was being explainedin detail by Satan. On the side was the ink-well into which I saw Jesus’s blood still freshly pouring down from Him hanging on the cross.
“LET ME SEE!” thundered the voice from the throne, and I trembled. No hope now. Even Satan was startled and, in jumping, knocked the inkstand over, causing fresh ink to pour across the page. I groaned at the profligate waste of the blood and the pain that Jesus had to incur. The page, no – the book, was now uniformly drenched in red and I could nolonger make out any writing.
The figure on the throne took it, looked and said, “I can see no record of sin, all I see is the blood of my Son.” The accuser disappeared.
To me he smiled, “Come in!”
You see, nothing can hide or cover the damage to ourselves or the pain we cause God when we sin. God made the world in Goodness and Peace, and when we go against that plan, we tear apart the universe that he made. He made it – not from nothing – but from His Love. So our sin breaks down the very structure of the universe. Our sin is written indelibly on the whole of creation, unless we free creation from it by submitting it to Jesus. That is why the world seems so distorted, full of sickness and misery. God shows us that by revealing His love to us in Jesus, and so His pain is shown both symbolically and in reality in His blood.
How can I make up for that pain? By being good? No! I was made for peace and goodness, so being “good” would only restore me to where I should be, and leave the evil still there.
Only by more than compensating – by renewing creation – can Jesus restore us to the Father’s kingdom as brothers and sisters of His Royal family. That he has done by His death and shown us in His resurrection. In that generosity He has offered me new life. But I must accept it. Without my receiving it voluntarily, the accuser would not even have to argue his case, I’d already be his.
Your comments are welcome.