It's trash day. In our neighborhood, several neighbors share a trash corner. Every Monday, each neighbor carries his or her week's worth of trash to the corner and adds it to the ever-growing pile.
There's no dumpster. We just drop our sacks and stacks of trash on the grass near the street sign. There are huge sacks of trash and little sacks of trash. There are white sacks and black sacks. There are high-dollar, reinforced, double-walled trash bags with objects bulging and pushing, but not bursting through the sides of the bag. There are cheap bags that rip and tear easily.
All bags of all kinds from all neighbors taken to the same exact spot and left there. Later in the day, a trash truck pulls up to trash corner and picks up all our trash and takes it away. By mid-afternoon, trash corner is always cleared of trash...as if the trash had never been there.
This morning I drove past trash corner without stopping. Not because I didn't have trash. I'd been carrying three trash bags in the bed of my truck for two days. I put the trash back there in anticipation of trash day. But after a couple of days of hauling it around, I forgot it was back there. I became accustomed to seeing it there and didn't even notice it when I drove out of the driveway this morning. I drove right past trash corner with my trash still in my truck.
I made it about a block and a half before it dawned on me that I forgot to drop off my trash. I turned around at the next driveway and returned to trash corner. I removed the three bags from the bed of my truck and left them there.
After I set the trash bags down, I looked up at the sign. The sign had two identifying markers on it: a county road number and the name of the county. I looked up and saw the county name -- Wood -- and that's when things turned weird.
As I stood beneath that Wood County road sign with my trash bags at my feet, my mind transitioned from the physical to the spiritual. I saw myself standing beneath a Wooden cross, having laid my bags of sin at the base of it.
This is what Jesus did for me. And for you. But it wasn't a Monday. It was a Friday. Good Friday. Jesus took the trash of our sins away to a hill called Calvary. On that hill, Jesus "became sin for us" on a wooden cross and removed every bag. He didn't toss it in a landfill and cover it up. He took it down to the ocean floor of the Sea of Forgetfulness and there it dissolved.
How often do we carry our sinful trash around with us? How many times do we overlook our baggage and bypass the cross? Turn around. Repent. Take your sins to Sin Corner and gratefully lay them beneath the Wooden cross of Jesus.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" - 1st John 1:9.