This morning, while driving to church, I noticed a “Dead End” sign nearly covered with snow. It reminded me of the neighborhood sign of my childhood at which I and the boys regularly took aim with our snowballs. Usually standing about twenty feet away, we threw in turn until the sign was entirely covered.
After passing the snowy sign this morning, I started to think about the theological significance of this activity. All of humanity faces a “Dead End.” It’s where we are headed. No exceptions. The big yellow sign with black letters rises above the horizon of every soul, reminding us that despite the impressiveness of our earthly accomplishments, we share the same dark, lifeless conclusion.
Thankfully, there is One who has covered our Dead End. Jesus the Christ. In the fullness of time, Jesus threw a massive snowball against death on behalf of the world, once and for all. And it wasn’t a long distance throw from heaven either. Jesus came up-close and personal, exposed to the cruel, biting sting of winter, lining up with the boys—coat, gloves, runny nose and all—and so thoroughly covered the sign that those who are in him will never see its threatening words again.
This is the good news of Christmas! The spotless Lamb of God who died in our place and rose from the grave covers our sin and clothes us with his perfect righteousness, a righteousness that is whiter than snow; on account of which, we can face death and know that the end of this life is not the end, it’s only the beginning. As Paul declares in Colossians 2:13:
“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.”