An Old Crushed Can
My daughter used to collect old soda cans and redeem them for cash. We laughingly called it her car fund. Pretty pathetic, I know, but we had hope that one day all that crushed and dirty aluminum will amount to something!
I was thinking about the pile in our garage of stinky, sticky crushed cans recently. At our church, we used to sing this amazing song that is all about how we are redeemed. I loved the song and every time we sang it, I would think about those cans. That may sound like a train of thought way out of line for a worship service, but actually, that thought makes me marvel all the more at God’s graciousness to me.
Why? Because I am an old crushed can. To most eyes, I am trash and worthy of being discarded. But in God’s eyes, I have value. He pulls me out of the trash heap and says, “I can do something with this messy little can. It may not look like much and it has been stepped on, crushed, and even broken, but it still has value.”
In the book of Romans, Paul talks about being redeemed, saying that our redemption was paid for by Christ Jesus. The term Paul uses for redemption there is a term that was used in the slave trade of the time. It was used when some generous person saw a slave that, for whatever reason, had no business being a slave and he chose to purchase that slave to freedom. And that is just what Jesus has done for us. Consider the slave, Onesimus, discussed in the book of Philemon. Paul is writing to his friend Philemon and what he says about Onesimus is precisely what Jesus chooses to say to God the Father for slaves like me. Listen to it and imagine your Redeemer, Jesus, saying it on your behalf. “So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. I… am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back.” Philemon 17-19
Let Jesus take you and wash you clean. Let Him remove the label from you that others have placed on you. Let Him make you into a new vessel, one fit for His service and His awesome purpose. The old adage that God doesn’t make junk is true, but it’s also true that when the world turns the beautiful thing that God created into junk, He can redeem it, pull it out of the heap and make it new.
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?... And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9, 11