For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God….
I’m not sure about you, but one of my least favorite household chores is painting. The painting itself isn’t so bad, it’s the prepping to get ready to paint and the cleaning up afterwards that cause the most pain.
The “Knights of the Black Lines” sound like characters from the latest action packed Hollywood comic book movie collection. Just reading the name makes it hard to tell if they are heroes or villains. The same is probably true with our story. It depends on which side you stood as to whether they had come to save the day or not.
Sometimes the entrance to heaven is portrayed as a cloud lined floor with a long, bearded, white hair man sitting behind a podium with a long scroll that seems to fall endlessly below the clouds. He has a feathered pen and seems to be checking names on a list. There is a tall gate behind him. No one seems to be guarding the gate but him. What’s beyond the gate is beyond anyone’s guess, but there is a line to get in. You just hope your name is on the list because you don’t want to stand in this line for nothing.
One of the worst types of painting is painting with oil based paint. It’s the hardest to clean up. If you get it on your fingers, elbows, legs, or toes, you basically have two choices: clean it with gasoline or turpentine and smell that way for a couple of days or let it wear off in a year or two. Like I said, it’s not easy to rub off.
There has only been one time in our nation’s history when a President has been censured. I’m not quite sure what the consequences are for that, other than embarrassment. It seems to me, that it is just one of those slapped on the hand things. But this president had upset enough people in Congress that this is exactly what they did to him. And he, in return, was very upset about the whole process, too.
So, if you are standing in this line in heaven, what do you do to get on this exclusive list? Well, you can’t do anything to get on the list. In fact, what you have already done has been put beside your name and has kept you from getting through that gate. What have you done to keep you on the wrong side? You’ve sinned. Yes, everyone has sinned and therefore we have a mark on our record that keeps us out. See Romans 3:23 if you don’t believe me.
Eventually, three years later, the president had enough supporters to override the censure 23 to 19. But that wasn’t enough for them. The vote also included a clause to “expunge” it from the Senate Journal. According to the Webster New World Dictionary, “expunged” means to “erase or remove completely.” So the clerk of the Senate opened the Senate Journal to the page the censure was on and “drew an oblong square of heavy black lines around it and then wrote vertically across it: ‘Expunged by order of the Senate, this 16th day of January 1837.’”
Then the “Knights of the Black Lines,” as their critics called them, carried their victory pen to President Andrew Jackson. Although he had fought and won many battles as a general, I’m sure this was one of his sweetest victories.
We, also, have our own hero to take the bad things off our list. He’s not one of the “Knights of the Black Lines.” No, He is the Prince of the Blood Stained Cross. So it just might be a good idea to get on friendly terms with Jesus so His blood can mark off the sins on your list.
Prayer: Father, my sin, like oil based paint, sure is hard to remove. If I use my own method, it still usually smells or leaves a red mark. Thank you for loving me so much that You sent Your own Son to remove it for me. It is through Him that I ask for your forgiveness. Amen!