From the title of this post, it probably brings up a mental picture of a burst of light through the clouds, or maybe over the mountains. In the message of the gospel, often described as light overcoming the darkness, we can picture the glory of God overcoming sin and death in a beautiful picture. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, look at the picture below:
It is not anything to look at. It is a not pretty color, it is not a collector’s piece in fact it is an ordinary, broken, and inexpensive clay pot. Paul speaks of our lives as jars of clay in 2 Corinthians 4:5 – 12. In this passage, Paul speaks about proclaiming the gospel, which has shone in our hearts by beholding the light of God in the face of Jesus. In other words, he is saying God has shone the light in our hearts exposing how wicked and dark they are, but Jesus is the light and the way to know God.
The beauty of God comes in Jesus, and he puts his light in jars of clay. Jars of Clay back then was not a band, but inexpensive, everyday, common, nothing to look at, but used to carry liquid from one place to another. If it broke, it was worthless; you threw it out, and would get a new one. The above picture is us before God: broken, nothing to look at, common, people. But God, who is rich in mercy, doesn’t see us this way. He sent the light of the gospel, his son Jesus, to restore the broken, to make what was common uncommon and holy.
Paul goes on to talk about being persecuted but not forsaken, being struck down, but not destroyed. Paul’s jar of clay had taken some abuse, it was cracked on the outside, but in his weakness through the cracks in his life the gospel was able to shine brightly. God uses our broken lives so through our cracks the gospel can shine. If we had no cracks, no weaknesses, we would not need God, but we know deep down we are cracked with our weaknesses breaking through to the surface. In Jesus, we can allow him to shine through our cracks instead of seeking to cover them. We can embrace our weaknesses because when we are weak God is seen to be strong. We need to embrace our cracks, our weaknesses, and stop trying to cover them. For those in Christ, he already died for these things. So now, we can use trials, suffering, and weaknesses as opportunities to let the gospel shine in our lives. So, are you simply trying to cover your own cracks, or will you let the gospel shine through your cracked jar of clay?
-Clay Adkisson, 501 Pastor
Clay is the 501 Young Adults pastor here at Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock.