“He, himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”
1 Peter 2:24, NIV
Our English language is full of some very strange and quaint sayings. Working in the international environment of Ellel Ministries, I often see some very quizzical looks on the faces of both team members and visitors to our training courses and schools! I thought they were understanding me clearly, but then, judging by the look on their faces, it was obvious that they had absolutely no idea of the meaning of what I had just said!
The problem is simple. I have been brought up to know and love the rich cultural diversity of a very old language, which uses thousands of sayings drawn from our history and literature, which are very meaningful to me and which most people understand, but others can often be mystified by. For many of these people, coming from all over the world to serve or learn at a Centre here in the UK, English is their second language. They have learnt, often extremely well, the basics of English grammar and vocabulary, but when it comes to the hundreds of colloquial phrases that English people can use in their every day speech, they can be very confused!
For example, I was talking to one of the internationals on our team who asked about something I’d been working on and I spontaneously responded, “Oh that’s done and dusted!” A glazed look came over her face, that I’ve come to know so well. She understood the words ‘it’s done’, but why would I need to dust it as well, when I wasn’t talking about anything to do with cleaning the house? ‘Dusting’ was the last thing that was in my mind. I explained in the best way I knew how that the thing she was asking about was not only finished, but that it had been ‘put to bed’! I thought I was making myself very clear, until I saw that glazed look again, this time with a smile of misunderstanding! To try and explain ‘done and dusted’, I had instinctively used another, even more confusing phrase, ‘put to bed’, out of my publishing past, which is used when a writing and printing project, such as a newspaper, is finally completed and there is nothing more to be done on it. It’s finished, life can move on.
Eventually she understood what the phrase ‘Done and dusted’ actually meant. The job was finished, over, completed, a piece of history, nothing more needed to be done on it, life could move on. The reason I have gone to such lengths to explain what this simple phrase means is that this exactly describes what Jesus has done for us! “It is finished!”, Jesus cried out from the cross. There is absolutely nothing we can add to the work that He completed on our behalf – we cannot do anything to try and earn our salvation or make it better, it’s a finished work, it’s done and dusted, it’s a done deal.
And oops, I’ve gone and done it again! And if you don’t know what ‘it’s a done deal’ means, can I suggest you read our Scripture for today? I’ll leave you to work out exactly what it means when applied to the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. What an incredible blessing – exchanging my sinfulness for His righteousness. Now, for the benefit of my American friends, that’s what I consider a humdinger of a good deal!
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, that there is absolutely nothing more that needs to be done about my sin. Your work on the cross is totally finished and I no longer need to worry about it. Thank You so much for the amazing divine exchange that took place at Calvary – your righteousness for my sinfulness. I’m so grateful that You made full provision for me and that because it’s ‘done and dusted’ I can look forward to eternity with You. Hallelujah, What a Saviour! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.