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Out from the shadows

I recently read a cute children’s book about a bear to my kids. The bear had a problem. This dark thing kept following him everywhere he went. Know what it was? His shadow.

This bear couldn’t stand having his shadow follow him everywhere. So he did everything he could to get rid of his shadow. He tried running really fast, but his shadow ran just as fast as he did. He tried digging a hole and burying it, but the moment he stood up, his shadow jumped out of the hole. He tried nailing it to the ground, but his shadow somehow came free and followed him anyway. He tried jumping in a pool, but it didn’t matter. No matter what he did, his pesky shadow kept following him all over the place.

As I read about the bear’s silly attempts to get rid of his shadow, I couldn’t help but think about our sin. Even though we stand forgiven of all our sins in the sight of God, we still continue to sin every day. Our sin is like our shadow. It’s always with us. Everywhere.

Like that bear, I bet you’ve tried all sorts of ways to get rid of your sin. You’ve dug a hole and hid your sin, but it pops back out at the worst times. You’ve tried to run from your sin, but the past keeps coming back to haunt you. You’ve tried making up for your sin by doing whatever you can think of, but you still feel guilty. You’ve tried blaming others. You’ve tried telling yourself it’s okay. You’ve tried ignoring God.

But every time you turn around, there it is. Right there with you. Your sin is like your shadow.

Thankfully, that children’s book had a happy ending. The bear actually found a way to get rid of his shadow. Know what it was? The light of the sun at midday. When he stood outside in the full light of the sun at noon, he looked around and noticed that there was no shadow at all. What a relief! Anytime he wanted to get away from his shadow, he just needed to go outside in the light of the sun at noon.

That’s what you and I need too: the light. Not the light of the sun, but the light of God’s Son—Jesus! Here’s how John put it: “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7).

What a promise! God is light. In fact, God’s light is so strong that in him there is no darkness at all. He invites us to come out from the shadows. He promises that the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. Jesus’ death on the cross on Friday and resurrection on Easter Sunday chased away the shadow of our sin for good.

Because of Jesus, you can come out from the shadows. You don’t have to run or hide or excuse or ignore your sin anymore. Every day you can come with your sin to the light of Jesus’ cross and know that you are completely forgiven.

So come out from the shadows and live in the light of Christ!

Author: Nathan Nass
Volume 110, Number 04
Issue: April 2023

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This entry is part 8 of 36 in the series editorial-comment

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