When I played ball in school, one of my teammates was a guy who kind of had a certain odor about him.  Good guy, good player, but, he stunk.  Not just a little either.  I mean near skunk like.  To make matters worse, he didn’t know it. It was hard to be anywhere close to him. One day in the locker room, several of us were saying how someone should say something to him.  Somehow, I was elected.  I went up to him and mentioned in the most tactful way I could think to say it, “Buddy, you stink.”  I went on to discuss the finer points of shampoo, soap and deodorant.  He could have punched me in the nose, but instead, said simply, “thank you.”  I don’t remember him stinking much after that.  Thank goodness for soap.

To God, our sin stinks.  Not just a little, mind you, but run over by a car dead-skunk like stink.  Paul writes, “We were dead in our sins and trespasses.”  Dead things stink.  But God, rich in mercy and kindness decided to send His Son to earth to make us alive.  God wanted to be near us, but we just plain reeked of sin.  He came up with a remedy.

Isaiah said, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign.  Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”

Immanuel means, “God with us.”  Jesus came to earth and endured the stink of men and the cross to save us just so that we could be clean in His sight; showered in His love, His mercy, His forgiveness, His grace.

Thank goodness for soap.