I begin reading Matthew again, and again notice that though the Messiah could have chosen to come from nice, safe, unremarkable, pious humans, he instead chosen as his ancestors those who have messed up and blown it—and had their transgressions recorded in the holiest of books!
Amazing: the Redeemer, the most beautiful human I know of, came from generations of the unredeemed, sinners who’ve spectacularly messed up.
All generational sins and curses are broken in him–and for us who are grafted into him, and live in him, he provides newness, freedom from the sins of our past, and our family’s past.
The Holy One comes from the unholy, proving NOTHING we have done, no matter how we have blown it, wasted our time, our lives, our talents, destroyed our relationships, nothing is beyond redemption.
* * *
Those repeated generational lies on the part of Abraham and Isaac, “She is my sister,”–not beyond redemption. The little bit of Do-It-Yourself assistance Abraham provided the promises of God in fathering Ishmael with Hagar–not beyond redemption.
Or Rebecca helping God out in doing what he had promised, by the gross and heart-breaking deception of Isaac. Jacob, the deceiver, the scheming grabber of the main chance, becomes the father of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Judah, who slept with a prostitute, and his daughter-in-law Tamar who incestuously slept with him disguised as one. Rahab, the good prostitute who sheltered the spies.
Redeemed, all redeemed, chosen as ancestors of GOD become flesh. Sexual sins, sins of manipulation, anger, fear and lack of faith—none of these preclude redemption.
* * *
Goodness came out of all these lives. Sweetness from what was very messed up.
And King David with his eight wives and ten concubines, who could not resist the beautiful woman he saw bathing, and indulged his desire, his weakness, his lust—his adultery leading to murder of Uriah, the righteous Hittite.
And—oh sing redemption’s song!–out of his weakness, out of his sin, his lust, his adultery, his taking of Uriah’s one lamb, the murder and adultery he so bitterly regretted– out of that came the wisest man who ever lived. Out of that came the Messiah.
And Solomon, with his 700 wives and 300 concubines, who was given wisdom, knowledge, wealth, possessions and honour (2 Chron 1:12) and the honour of building a glorious temple to the Lord.
And out of all the wicked kings of Judah, whose actions lost the Kingdom and led their people into captivity, the Messiah came.
* * *
Because the father-heart of God cannot help himself. We are his children, the work of his hands, he cannot help redeeming us, as we– come on, ‘fess up—if we can, when we can, give our children a leg up in the rat-race of life. Whether they are eminently deserving—or not.
* * *
And what a comfort that is, that nothing I have done is beyond redemption.
That I can place all the silliness–things done stupidly, impulsively, hot-headedly, selfishly, maliciously, sinfully!—place them in his hands,
His kind hands which work fast and skilfully,
Redeeming, working all the foolishness and weakness into a new beautiful story for my life.
One by one, I bring to him my sins and failures, the times I have messed up, sins in my marriage, my parenting, my friendships, my church relationships, all these wobbles, bring it to him who amazingly, incredibly, died for me, and they are redeemed, washed in the blood of the lamb. Washed whiter than snow, repurposed.
Oh, take it all lovely Redeemer, take my life, past and present, work on it with your strong brilliant hands; make something beautiful out of it.