Special agent Gibbs of the CBS drama series NCIS lives by a code. In his case, it is a set of rules, acutely numbered and appropriate for any and every situation. This idea was given to him by his late wife Shannon. And one of the rules, #45, states, that you have to “clean up the mess that you make.” And even though, I don’t agree with all his rules (#6 states, that apologizing is a sign of weakness, which it is not), #45 is something, we try to teach our children. (We don’t use the number system though. It is so confusing, that even NCIS keeps messing it up.) You spilled it, you clean it. You unloaded all the LEGO on the floor, you can put it back. But even our kids discovered, that there are messes to big to clean up all by your self. So we try to teach them, how to ask for help (rule #28). And while my kids still try the tactic of ignoring the mess they made, as a “grown up”, we tent to do all by ourselves. Even though we would desperately need help, we can’t put our pride away and ask for it. (Or is that just me?) And the biggest mess, we constantly try to solve on our own, is our relationship with God. Of course, we know in theory, that “it is finished”. The work is done, the broken relationship is made new. The curtain is torn. But we constantly ask, what steps do we have to take towards God. Which sacrifice, which offering, which inconvenience, which punishment. It is just to difficult to believe, that someone else cleaned up our mess. For good.
I heard the analogy, that we partake in Christ’s victory, like the fans of a sports team do, that wins an important cup. It is to our joy, but we don’t do anything, than watching from the bleachers. It is a great picture , to show, that Christ did it all and we did nothing. Yet, I think, the picture is wrong. It is our mess. We lost the cup in the first place. It is our game, we have to play, to win it back. But the enemy is absolutely unbeatable. There is no way, we could gain any ground. We know that, yet we try anyway. Because we are to proud to ask for help. And then comes Jesus. Not, because we asked Him, but because His Father knew, that it is our only chance of winning. He loves us so much, that He would do anything to make that happen. Even sacrificing His own Son. And in this one single attack, Jesus scores an infinite amount of points. That was it. The game may still go on, but no matter how many points the opponent scores, he won’t even come close to our score. The end result is fixed. Infinite to something. But we still try to impress the coach. We want to prove, we are so great, He can use us in the following matches. But there is nothing left to do. The final result is set and there are no more games to play. And even if we should score, infinity plus one is still infinity. So yes, it is our mess. A mess, that we cannot clean up ourselves. We need God‘s help. And we should ask Him. Don’t be too proud and think, you can fix it on your own, because sometimes we are wrong (rule #51).