June 8, 2017

The Red Fixes It All!


"You had one job! One job!” I heard my teenage daughter shouting at the top of her lungs.

I heard my almost-teenage son shout back at her, “I’m sorry, OK! I’m sorry I’m not perfect like you!”

At this point, I took it as a cue that I should intervene, as the usual cold war between my children was quickly heating up. At any moment it might spill over into an ugly mutually assured destruction, with their mother and me—innocent bystanders—caught in the crossfire.

No sooner had I left the peace and tranquility of my bedroom office than I was strangled by thick, greasy, gray haze. I followed it to its source: our kitchen, or at least what used to be our kitchen. Our children were shouting at each other, firing blame back and forth like missiles as the back door hung open (in hopes that the smoke would quickly evaporate).

On the kitchen counter, to the right of the now black stove top, lay what was left of our supper, very well done. OK, who am I kidding: they were veggie burgers burnt-to-a-crisp. As I stood over the blackened, nay, blighted burgers, all I could see was hard-earned dollars going up in smoke.

“Look, the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

As I was about to enter the discovery phase of my investigation, take witness statements and depositions before I rendered my harsh but well-deserved judgments, my wife came into the kitchen, gently placed her hand on my balled-up right fist, gave a little squeeze, and in her cheeriest Mary Poppins-esque attitude, brightly stated, “So, I’m sure this is something we can remedy.”

I, with growing admiration, awe, and absolute respect for the woman who gave birth to our offspring, watched in total amazement as she spiced, scraped, and basically doctored up those burgers. As we sat down to what I had to say was the most amazing dinner renovation I had seen in quite a while, I saw our son gleefully and without abandon douse his burger with ketchup, lampooning a commercial announcer: “That’s right, folks, the red fixes it all!”

I laughed out loud, quickly caught myself, and in my best father-tone sternly told him to save some for everybody else. OK, I meant me.

Dinner continued without a hitch. With the dishes done, teeth brushed, and kids asleep, I was once again sitting in my office, finishing up the work I’d been interrupted from earlier. As I pondered over the evening’s excitement, a thought hit me square between the eyes: we, as humanity, had one job as well.

Solution for a Mess-up

Upon the creation of Adam and Eve, God told them that they could hang out and eat from every and any tree in the awesome Garden of Eden, all except one: “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” (Gen. 2:16, 17). But given this one task, we, as willful, stubborn, selfish children, messed it up (see Gen. 3). We were busted, and we knew it immediately.

The unbelievable part of this story is not that we messed up, but how God responded. What was His response? There had to be death; there had to be consequences. He had every right to basically wipe humanity off the face of the earth and start over. But He didn’t. Instead, He killed animals (verse 21) to clothe and cover Adam and Eve. This would be, in effect, Adam and Eve’s first hint of what He would end up doing—and giving—to redeem His precious humanity.

God let the pall and horror, blood and guts of the death of those innocent animals reveal a profound and powerful truth: “The red fixes it all!”

Millennia later, God Himself, in the form of Jesus, was publicly called out by none other than His cousin, John the Baptist: “Look, the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). And how would Jesus, our Lamb do it? By shedding His perfect blood on a cross, a cross meant for us (John 3:16).

Truly, The red has fixed it all!

Omar Miranda, a counselor and writer, lives with his family in unplain Plainville, Georgia.