When I take my granddaughter to school we pass a “country market”. Mostly they sell meats, but one of their products is a cheese spread with horseradish in it. I love that stuff. I almost think I could just eat it with a spoon if I didn’t have any crackers. I always get the one marked with extra horseradish.
Horseradish is the root of a plant that has been cultivated for thousands of years. It probably began in Eastern Europe and spread out from there by traders. In the Middle Ages it was used as a medicine. But most folks over the centuries have used it as a condiment. It has a spicy tang that can clear your sinuses if you need such clearing, as many of us do this time of the year.
I’m sharing this with you because it makes me think of Jesus. (I’m almost tempted to stop here and see if anyone can tell what I’m talking about, but I won’t)
Horseradish makes food taste different. Indeed, if you really slap it on, it can overwhelm the underlying taste. When we come to a living faith in Christ, it makes everything in our lives “taste” different. That which was dull and boring, becomes exciting and joyous. That which seemed so good before Christ took over our life pales in its attraction and makes us wonder how we could ever have been satisfied with such a drab reality. Horseradish opens our sinuses, Christ opens our hearts and souls.
One of the unfortunate things that has happened to the Church in the last 200 years is the watering down of Jesus. Somehow or another, the Man/God from Galilee, the carpenter, the strong and forceful Revelation of all truth, the One who changed the world, became “our sweet Jesus up in the sky”. Instead of a Man who had made his living building structures and furniture without power tools, He began to be pictured as a feminine fellow with a beard–blond of course because no Northern European could easily admit that their Savior was a 5 foot 6 inch, swarthy skinned, hook nosed Jew.
But what we did was (using this message’s analogy) was to turn horseradish into yellow mustard. Yellow mustard won’t excite your taste buds. And a wimpy Lord won’t change your life. The Lord Jesus is many things, but the one thing He is not is dull.
Friends, those who know Jesus as Lord and Savior, know the Son of the living God who has changed everything important for us. Those whose hearts have been changed through the proclamation of the Word of God and who have thereby become assured of their salvation have a Savior, a Redeemer, whose power and might are beyond any human conception. We know it and see it in our own lives. We experience it in a way that unbelievers can’t even imagine.
We’ve often heard it said that this or that is the “spice of life.” Well, let’s be serious here–Jesus is the spice of life. He it is who will make all things new, all things for the good of His people and all things to the Glory of God the Father Almighty.