The Handy-man, or should I say “domestic maintenance engineer”, for our apartment complex was caught up on the jobs that he had been assigned. He was hunting around for some work when I suggested to Irene (who manages our apartments) that he could paint the office door. It is looking a little worse for the wear.
As a matter of fact, I described the condition of the door as “it looks uglier than sin.” It dawned on me as soon as I said those words that I must rid my vocabulary of that phrase. I don’t know of a greater misnomer and offensive statement to our Lord than, “uglier than sin.”
Some might argue that it is just an expression. It is nothing more than a colloquialism. In some parts of our country is an expression that is used as frequently as “right as rain,” or “a tough nut to crack.” Some might argue that I have “gone ‘round the bend” on this one.
Think about it for a moment. Can anything truly be uglier than sin? In order to answer this question, we must ask ourselves, “How ugly is sin anyways?” I think we can answer that sentence by looking at three (3) passages of scripture.
The first passage is Genesis 6:5-7:
“The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, ‘I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.’” (ESV)
Sin was so ugly to God that He was grieved over creating that which He once pronounced as “good.” Sin was so ugly that God determined to drown every living creature on the planet, save Noah and his family. I cannot imagine being so grieved over anything that I would determine to destroy it by drowning it by a massive and universal flood. Sin was so ugly that God in perfect righteousness, justice, and holiness drowned every man, woman, and child, except those seven souls whom He secured safely in the ark. The office door was certainly not uglier than that.
The second passage is Genesis 18:20 and 19:24:
“Then the LORD said, ‘Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.’” (ESV)
“Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven. And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.” (ESV)
Sin was so ugly in these cities and the surround cities on the plains that God determined to destroy them with fire and sulfur straight from heaven. We read in verse twenty nine of chapter nineteen that God destroyed the cities of the valley. Again, men, women and children were incinerated as a result of sin. Sin, so ugly, that God destroyed a number of cities in the valley so as to punish sin.
The third and final passage to see the ugliness of sin is Matthew 27:45-46:
“Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” (ESV)
There my friend, we truly see how ugly sin really is. Sin was so ugly and repulsive to the nature and character of God that he was pleased to bruise and crush his own Son who had become the sin-bearing sacrifice which appeased God’s offended character. Not only, was sin so ugly that God slew His own Son, but Christ had become so repulsive to God as he bore sin that God turned his back on him thus creating darkness. Can you grasp this? For the first time in all of infinite eternity there was a breach in the God-head. The eternal unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit was interrupted by ugly sin. Sin was so ugly that the Father, until Christ died, abandoned the Son.
We can study and meditate on the crucifixion of Jesus and get a small glimpse as to the utter ugliness of sin. Only the perverted, drunken, or emotionally disturbed parent (s) plots to hurt and kill their own offspring. God, who in no wise is perverted, drunken, or disturbed plotted and accomplished the tortuous death of his own dear Son.
Needless to say, I am working to rid my vocabulary of this phrase. There is nothing on this earth save sin itself that is uglier than sin. Sin is so ugly, vile, and repulsive to God that God has judged sin in His Son. Not only has God judged sin, but one day he will rid his creation of sin entirely.
God, keep me from being so flippant, so casual, and so cavalier with a subject that is so repulsive to you that it caused you drown your creation, burn your creation, and to brutally slay your own Son.