The Stench of Sin

This morning was spent prepping the house and some of the food for this Sunday's Easter gathering. Yesterday, JeJe and I spent the day grocery shopping and going to the farmer's market to get our Easter lamb...because, well, that's what you eat for Romanian traditional Easter dinner. I am sparing you the photos of what the farmer's market looked like. JeJe spared me from entering the "sacrificial" area. He told me to wait around a corner. Then we went inside where the already sacrificed lambs were displayed to select one.

Side note: the market place was so crowded with people busy buying and selling; the Lord reminded me of what His Word says about one of the signs of Christ's return...

"And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all."
Luke 17:26-27

We brought the Lamb home (yep, the WHOLE lamb; this is my Big Fat Romanian Easter ;o) and JeJe had to immediately "process" it. He and James did the cleaning and prep until the evening (great biology lesson). As we began cleaning this morning, the kitchen towel and aprons they used had been tossed next to the washing machine: and did they stink !!! It takes vinegar and soaps to get the stench out.

Elli went outside to the area they had worked and said "there is a really bad odor in the air outside where you guys worked". JeJe assured her everything had been cleaned with disinfectant soap and water (he is always careful after something like that).  

He said to us: "Can you imagine what Jerusalem was like when Christ was crucified? It was Passover and all those lambs being slaughtered in the market place? The air must have been so full of the smell; the whole city must have stunk!" He continued to say "I'm sure God was sending them (us) a message as to how badly our sin stinks".

And again, He uses the lambs to remind me how dirty my sin is. It stinks and affects everyone; but because Jesus gave Himself as the perfect, sacrifice for my sins, I am washed in His righteousness.
How great the Father's love for us...

"1 Who has believed our message?
To whom has the LORD revealed his powerful arm?
2 My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot,
like a root in dry ground.
There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
nothing to attract us to him.
3 He was despised and rejected—
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.
4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
5 But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the LORD laid on him
the sins of us all.
7 He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
8 Unjustly condemned,
he was led away.
No one cared that he died without descendants,
that his life was cut short in midstream.
But he was struck down
for the rebellion of my people.
9 He had done no wrong
and had never deceived anyone.
But he was buried like a criminal;
he was put in a rich man’s grave.
10 But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him
and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life,
and the LORD’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish,
he will be satisfied.
And because of his experience,
my righteous servant will make it possible
for many to be counted righteous,
for he will bear all their sins.
12 I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier,
because he exposed himself to death.
He was counted among the rebels.
He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels."
Isaiah 53:1-12

by Coleen Jejeran, Missionary to Romania