Christ’s shed blood is a double cure—first for your sin and then for your shame.
When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego emerged miraculously from the Babylonian fiery furnace, we’re told that “The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them” (Daniel 3:27, ESV).
The clearest and simplest symbol of the story must not be missed. Evidently, God not only didn’t want the men destroyed by the evil fire, but He also didn’t want them to smell like smoke on the other side.
When God walks with you, He’s not there just to protect you from the destructive fire. He’s also there to protect you from self-destruction on the other side.
The fire symbolizes the adversity, the persecution, or the trouble.
The smell of smoke symbolizes the lingering stench of the awful thing you walked through.
When someone is abused, the trial of the trauma is often easier to face than the inward shame and the shattered soul. In fact, I’m convinced that the strategy of hell is not ultimately to inflict the pain of adversity as much as it is to infuse the victim with smoldering bitterness, self-condemnation, depression, anger and despair.
In other words, if the powers of hell can’t burn us up, they’d like to leave us in the stench of shame. It’s essential to accept that Jesus died for your sins so that you could escape the fires of judgment. But it’s equally imperative to accept that Jesus’s sacrifice has also left you with no guilty stain. In Christ, you are utterly clean.
I hope you’ll listen to today’s full radio broadcast or podcast to hear the beautiful biblical image blossom into its fullest glory. You not only no longer smell of shame – you’ve become the aroma of Christ! And that’s the Gospel!