The other day I attempted to make red velvet cupcakes. From scratch.
I don't know what I was thinking. I'm not much of a baker or cook and hubby has a few stories he could share with you about epic flops I've had in the kitchen. But somehow I got it in my mind to make red velvet cupcakes from scratch. Sure, they tasted wonderful. But in the process of making them, I got red stains on my fingers, my elbow, my cheek, my shirt, and a few rosy splotches on my counter as well. (In case you're concerned, the stains are slowly fading each day as I scrub on them with various cleansing concoctions I learned thanks to Google.)
But anyway, there I was on red velvet cupcake baking day, red-fingered, staring at red spots on my counter, feeling a little bit (ok a lot) like a failure. But I was determined to see this through, so I opened up the jar of white cream cheese frosting, grabbed a knife, and swirled it over each and every cupcake. I watched the white frosting cover up the red cupcakes and I wanted it to miraculously remove the red from my fingertips and counter tops.
And that random thought led to a sudden spiritual epiphany.
The dye in the red velvet reminded me of our sin, leaving behind a stain that invades our soul and leaves us trapped in guilt. But the cream cheese frosting reminded me of the righteousness we now have covering us if we honor Jesus' sacrifice. Righteousness means "Freedom from guilt of sin." We have been forgiven of all sin. "Clothed in righteousness," Job 29:14.
"Though my sins are like scarlet, they shall be made white as snow." Isaiah 1:18
Too often, it seems we focus on our sin and feel guilty and ashamed and like we'll never be enough.
Or we focus on our righteousness and feel entitled for more. We believe, as Paul mentions in Romans 6 that we can sin as much as we want because God's mercy will keep covering us.
But God longs for us to enjoy both components of His grace together. We should feel grateful and humbled that Jesus Christ died for us and forgave us.
The red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting is necessary together to make such a decadent dessert. By focusing on only one element, we miss out on an aspect of God. Either His holiness, or His mercy.
We can live our lives continually feeling guilt, or we can live with the belief that it's ok to sin because Jesus will take care of all our mistakes.
Or we can live our life in humble awe of what He has done for us. We can long to live a life that honors and respects His death. We can savor and honor the grace God has given us.
We were not meant to be red velvet cupcakes without our cream cheese frosting. We should feel grateful and humble that Jesus Christ died for us and forgave us.
Serious reflection: Which extreme do you tend toward? Do you tend to focus on your guilt, or take grace for granted?
Fun reflection: What's your favorite cupcake flavor?
Share your thoughts with us below! 🙂