When I was a kid, I had the M&M’s people figured out. Their slogan was, “The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.” Well, of course it melted in your mouth. If you held an M&M for too long, the candy coating would start to melt in your hand, coloring it. In a rush to minimize the mess, you would pop the candy into your mouth long before it ever got to the chocolate.
Unless you’re Cole.
The other day, Amy gave him a blue M&M. Not that the color is all that significant, mind you, although maybe it is. It’s kind of funny when you imagine Cole looking like a partial smurf.
Cole clutched the blue M&M in his hand, raising it to his mouth every couple of seconds to suck on it. It didn’t take long before both of his hands, as well as the area around his mouth, were bright blue.
When Amy noticed what was happening, she rushed to wipe his hands and mouth. I suggested she leave him alone and give him a couple more M&M’s, but of different colors. “Think about it,” I said, “he could be our very own living, breathing piece of impressionistic artwork.”
Amy said something about impressing different colored M&M’s up my nose and seeing how I liked it, or something to that effect. I didn’t catch it all because she was mumbling.
I was amazed at how quickly and easily the M&M had stained Cole’s skin. I was further amazed at how hard it was to get the stain off. Even after a fair amount of rubbing with a baby wipe, Amy couldn’t remove all of the blue coloring.
As M&M’s do to the skin, so sin does to the soul. It leaves an indelible stain, which is not easily removed. We can try to scrub it away, we can try to cover it up, but we will never be able to remove the stain of sin on our own. Only Jesus can do that.
In Isaiah 1:18 God said, “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.” God was saying that he would remove the stain of his people’s sin, making them clean and pure again.
John the Baptist recognized Jesus as the fulfillment of this promise when he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
Jesus didn’t accomplish this with a baby wipe, though. Instead, it required much more. It required that Jesus sacrifice his own life.
Through his death on the cross, Jesus did what we were unable to do for ourselves. He cleansed us. He purified us. He took away our sins, removing the stain of sin from our souls.
Parrish Myers is pastor of Pine Crest Baptist Church in Gainesville.