Have you ever started something, scrapped the whole thing, and then started over? More often than not you'll come out with a better product. That happened to me in my college painting class.
I was an art minor in college with a focus on graphite. I used a pencil. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a comic book artist. Beyond finger paints, I had never painted before in my life, but my minor required me to take a couple of painting classes. While I excelled at graphite artistry, I was really nervous about using a brush.
I went through the semester, learned the basics, and was heading into finals with confidence. My idea was to paint an impressionistic person worshiping Jesus (I was a Christian Religion major, so people figured I'd do something like that). Well, what started as a woman worshiping Jesus, ended up looking like Ariel from The Little Mermaid. This was my final project. I was embarrassed. For days I tried to fix it by repainting little sections, but nothing could fix the fact it looked like the Little Mermaid. After weeks of work, one day at the end of class, I pulled out the black and completely erased any signs of Ariel. I wrecked everything! People were shocked and asked why I'd do something like that. I said with a shaky voice, "It looked like Ariel." They didn't disagree.
But then I started over and came out with a much better representation of worship. One in which Ariel was nowhere to be found.
In a way, that's what Jesus did for us. Except, instead of him messing up and accidentally painting Ariel and trying to fix, it was us. We first went in a started painting our lives in a certain way. And when we messed everything up, we tried to fix it with a little repaint here and a touch up there. But Jesus came into our lives. He pulled out the black paint. Jesus walked over to our canvas and wrecked the whole thing! But then he began to repaint us in his image. We came out more beautiful than we could have ever imagined.
In Colossians 2:13 Paul says, "And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he made you alive with him and forgave us all our trespasses." Before Jesus, we are all dead people. We can have a little blush on our cheeks, have our hair combed, and even have some nice clothes put on us. But the fact remains, that no matter how we improve the corpse... we're still dead. Jesus comes in and wrecks all our efforts to look alive and actually brings us back to life!
Tomorrow we're looking at some huge dangers for the Christian life. Dangers that pull us away from the reality of our resurrection with Jesus and try to pull us into that old makeup-on-the-corpse life.
We hope to see you at Curley tomorrow morning! Check out the announcements below and we'll see you at 10:30 AM.