Every redneck in America knows exactly what it feels like to be stuck in the mud! The entrance exam to call yourself a redneck requires that your pickup truck has been stuck in the mud at least once. I’m talking about being stuck in mud so deep that you had to call a friend to pull you out.
I often remind myself that there is no limit to human stupidity. This is especially true when it comes to rednecks and their pickup trucks. You could produce a comedy television series about the ridiculous situations that lead rednecks to get a truck stuck in the mud.
Stuck in the mud
Sometimes you can drive out of a sticky situation on your own, but at some point, when you get so deep in the mud, there is no way out on your own. When you get mud up to the axles, you’re stuck. When you get mud all the way up to the drive shaft, there is no getting out of this one on your own. You’re going to need someone else’s help.
The guys who really know how to get their truck stuck are typically the guys who think they can get out of the mud on their own. I don’t know if it’s sheer arrogance or just plain naiveté, but the guys who get into the deepest mud tend to think they can figure out a way to get out on their own. Maybe they have the impression that their truck is better than someone else’s and that their truck can get them out of the “sticky situation”. Nothing is more dangerous than an arrogant redneck. These guys usually get stuck so deep that they need a lot of help to get out.
Wade into a messy situation
I think there are basically two reasons why we don’t wade into a sticky situation to help out a buddy who is stuck in the mud. The first reason is that you don’t want to get muddy in the process of helping a friend. I’ll be honest; I do this from time to time. When I’m driving down the road on the way to an important meeting, wearing nice clothes, if I see somebody stopped on the side of the road with a flat tire, I usually keep right on driving. I have the tools and the experience to change the tire. This is the point when I start to rationalize with myself why I shouldn’t stop. I tend to think along these lines, I’m in my nice close and on my way to an important meeting. It would be socially unacceptable to show up to the meeting covered in dirt. I don’t have enough time to go home and change my clothes. Then, in the back of my mind, I usually try to figure out if it is possible to change a tire without getting dirty. I have never been able to imagine the situation where I could change someone else’s tire without getting messy myself. At this point, I just keep on driving.
The second reason why people often don’t want to wade into a messy situation, is that they just don’t care enough about the person stuck in the mud. Oh, I realize that most of us would never admit that out loud. But if you really loved someone who was stuck in the mud… you would help them get unstuck, even if it was going to cause you to get a little messy in the process. It’s a real sign of love that you would be willing to show up and get messy trying to help a buddy who was stuck in the mud.
Helping someone become free from guilt
Did you know that Christian fellowship is a lot like help in a buddy who’s stuck in the mud? All of us tend to mess up from time to time. All of us get stuck in sticky situations of our own making on occasion. That’s why all of us need someone who will be there to lend a helping hand. All of us need someone who’s willing to get a little bit messy in order to help us get our life clean. This is why I use the redneck stuck in the mud imagery today. You and I need someone who will reach in and offer us a helping hand.
Christianity is more than just offering to help a buddy who is in need. The essence of following Jesus is built around the idea that you cannot get out of the mud on your own. The basic teaching of the Bible is that sin leaves us stuck so deep in the mud that there is no way out of it on our own. We need someone to reach in and pull us out of our sin. That someone… is Jesus! This also means that Jesus got messy in the process. This is what the Bible teaches in Zechariah 3:3-4.
Joshua, as the High Priest, should’ve been the “cleanest” guy in the land. Instead, he got filthy. He got so dirty that he couldn’t “get clean” on his own. It was not only unthinkable; it was a violation of the law of God for a priest to be filthy while doing his duties. In response to Joshua’s mess, God does something unimaginable. God steps in and personally cleans up this filthy priest! God wades into this messy man’s life and cleans him up. In order to do this, it requires that God himself has to get a little dirty. This is what happens when God sends Jesus to pull Joshua out of the mud. Jesus does the same thing for ever dirty sinner who comes to him in faith. Jesus dirtied himself with our sin, so that he could present us spotless to God (2 Corinthians 5:21). That’s what it took for Jesus to rescue us from the mud.
Are you stuck in the middle of your sin and need help getting out? We’d love to talk with you about Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross as payment for your sin. We want to help you understand how his resurrection makes someone pure and spotless because of Jesus’s perfect obedience to God’s law. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.