Mr Mud wasn’t always called Mr Mud. But he was given the name because he always did things that were a little bit dodgy. He wasn’t a hardened criminal, he didn’t have a prison record or anything like that, but if there was something going on that was a bit doubtful, then Mr Mud was always the one to get the blame.
Now Mr Mud enjoyed living on the edge. And he liked the nickname that people had given him. It made him feel important. And Mr Mud didn’t mind being accused of things that he’d done—in fact he was proud of it. But being blamed for the things that he hadn’t done . . . well, that was another matter. And the trouble was, that the more time went on, the more Mr Mud got the blame for things he didn’t do. And he didn’t like that at all.
And being blamed for things that he didn’t do, got so bad that he decided he needed to do something about it. It’s just that he didn’t know what.
That is until one day, by accident, he found a dusty old book with a black cover, that was propping up a vase on his bookshelf. And perhaps with a little curiosity, he picked it up and began to read. And do you know what book it was? It was the bible of course—what else is there that is often black and dusty?
But not knowing where to start, he opened it a random, and he read a story about an innocent man who had done nothing wrong, but who took the blame for all the things he hadn’t done. And indeed he was willing to take the blame. He even gave up his life to save others from the eternal consequences of what they had done.
Well, Mr Mud was shocked. The police had just been to see him and they had accused him once again of things he hadn’t done. He was sick of all the fingers pointing his way. And yet the innocent man in the story willingly copped the penalty for all the things he hadn’t done. He sacrificed his life for the sake of others.
Well Mr Mud felt foolish, and for the first time in his life he felt sad about the kind of person that he’d become. And he suddenly realised that the man in the story—Jesus—had not only died for other people, but he’d died for him too. Jesus had suffered for everyone, including him. He had taken the blame for him so that he could have a relationship with God. And as soon as he realised that he knew he had to change. And he did. He decided to change.
But Mr Mud isn’t perfect—not yet. He still has a long way to go to leave his old ways behind him. But he is getting there. Indeed, Mr Mud’s life is slowly and surely changing. So much so, that I don’t think the name Mr Mud will stick with him for very much longer. And all because he now accepts that that innocent man is taking the blame for the things he’s done wrong before God.
Now, of course, Mr Mud still gets the blame for things that happen, and he understands that that will take a while to change. But he doesn’t get anywhere near so mad when people blame him for things he hasn’t done. And the police don’t call at his door anywhere near as much as they used to either.
Now, of course, Mr Mud isn’t the only one who does things wrong—deliberately or otherwise—we all do. And we all deserve the blame for the things that we do. (And from time to time, we may also get the blame for things we haven’t done either.) But Mr Mud’s discovery about Jesus is so important for us all.
Because if an innocent man is willing to take away the eternal punishment that we deserve for the things that we do wrong, that is good news for us too.
Now that doesn’t exempt us from the consequences of what we do now. We may still have to live with them. But like Mr Mud, when it comes to our relationship with God, it means that we can come into God’s presence and live with God in eternity.
God knows our faults and failings; he knows that we’re not good enough to live with him. That’s why he sent his son, Jesus, to take the blame for the things that we do, to suffer in our place. God can then treat us as though we are perfect.
Now to me that is the most wonderful thing in the world. Mr Mud certainly thought so. Don’t you?
Posted: 9th September 2020
© 2020, Brian A Curtis