I will never forget my Grandmother Irene. She was one funny lady. She laughed a lot, she gave me money a lot, she was the life of the party. Some people in our family think she was a big influence on my personality. That's not a very nice thing to say about a woman who is no longer here to defend herself. But there's no doubt my grandmother had a great impact on my life. But I almost never got to meet her. She had a serious bout with cancer before I was born.
But she made it - and I got an awesome grandma out of the deal. But it took some radical action on the part of the doctor to save her. He went in and totally removed the cancer and the areas around it. It was painful - it left some scars - but I'm thankful that he did what he had to do to keep her alive.
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You about "The Operation You Can't Perform."
Removing the cancer - that was not grandmother's only hope for living longer. It's your only hope - of living forever.
Our word for today comes from John 1:29. The prophet John has come to the wilderness of Israel, announcing that God's long-awaited Messiah was about to appear on the scene. Then one day John sees Jesus - and, in one simple sentence - identifies Him and announces His life-saving mission. "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." John says, "This is it! The Sin-Remover is here. It's Jesus!"
That's why Jesus came - to remove the sin of the world - or, to understand the personal significance of what Jesus did, put your name in there. "The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of __________." Sin - that spiritual cancer that eats away at all our close relationships - that puts a wall between us and the God whose love we so desperately need. It's terminal cancer. The Bible says that the wages of our sin is death - eternal banishment from the God who made us.
Somewhere deep in our soul, we're haunted by the sin of our lives - there's shame, there's guilt, there's the fear of God's punishment. But how can you treat this cancer that poisons our life here and costs us heaven? Removal. Just like my grandmother's physical cancer. I'm glad the doctor didn't just give her a pain reliever to make her feel better. Some of us try one anesthetic after another to calm the sin-storm in our soul - but it never really goes away.
Or we try to defend ourselves with all the good things we've done - "I'm not so bad - after all, I But talking about all the ways you're okay doesn't remove the deadly cancer. God strikes down all our religiousness and goodness with these "straight talk" words from Ephesians 2:8-9 - "By grace you are saved...not by works." There was nothing my grandmother could do to remove her own cancer - except trust herself totally the man who could remove it.
Isn't it time you did that with the deadly sin-cancer you've got? Isn't it time to trust yourself totally to the only One who can remove it. Not cover it, not compensate for it - remove it so it never comes between you and God again. So it will not be there when you die, locking you out of heaven.
Jesus is your Sin-Remover because He became the Lamb of God. Like the Old Testament lambs slaughtered to pay sin's death penalty, God's own Son came to be put to death for your sin - so you wouldn't have to pay that death penalty yourself. No one has ever loved you like Jesus.
If you've never trusted yourself to the only One who can remove your sin and its death penalty - if you've never begun a relationship with Jesus - this could be your day. Tell Him you believe He is your only hope of being forgiven - because He died for you.
The cancer is deadly - but it's not incurable. When you trust yourself to the Doctor - Dr. Jesus - you trade death for life that will never end.