Burying Our Sin
Exodus 2:11-12 (ESV) — One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. He looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
I’ve pastored in my hometown for many years now. This means that a lot of folks know me, or at least are familiar with me. Plus our son’s story has been talked about in the local papers and is known by a large number of people. So there are folks who know and recognize me that I do not know or recognize. I often have people come say things to me when we’re out in town at the store or restaurants. I’ll often joke with my wife or whomever I’m with that I’m glad I wasn’t doing anything stupid. Why do I say that? Because I may have thought I was operating in anonymity, but in reality, someone saw me.
This story sets up well our passage today. One of the early things we learn about Moses is that he was caught in an act that he thought nobody saw or knew about. The text says, “One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. He looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.” Moses didn’t think anyone saw him. He was standing up for one of his fellow Hebrew men. He struck down the Egyptian and buried him. He covered up his sin.
Later Moses discovers that he didn’t do this in secret. Someone saw the entire thing. This scared Moses and sent him off into the wilderness, fearful for his life. This is exactly what trying to bury our sins does to us. When we try to take it upon ourselves to dispose of our sins, we get the same result. Our sins will come back to haunt us. They will resurface. Why? Because they were not properly buried.
This is why the gospel is such good news for us. Jesus took our sins at the cross and died for them. But he was buried with our sins, removing them as far as the east is from the west. When Christ rose from the grave, our sins did not rise with him. They are gone. Forever.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why is Moses so scared after he discovers that someone saw him bury the Egyptian?
- How is Moses actions similar to our own efforts to bury and cover our sins?
- What are some ways we try to cover our own sins today?
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