On a recent trip to Egypt, a trip to visit the Cave Church on the outskirts of Cairo brought me through Manshiyat Naser, which includes an area called “Garbage City.” There is no other way to describe Garbage City except to say that there is garbage everywhere you look. Everywhere. On the streets. In buildings, piled from floor to ceiling. On top of buildings. Piled ten feet high on top of trucks. There does not seem to be an inch of this area that is not permeated by trash. The incredibly hard-working people living there (the Zabbaleen) make their living off of recycling the garbage, and are much more efficient (more than 80% of the garbage they collect is recycled) at doing so than most developed countries (which can vary from approximately 20-50%).
That evening as I reflected on the mounds and mounds and heaps and heaps of trash, more than could ever be counted, or, I imagine, cleaned out unless no more ever comes in, it hit me. That’s how our sin is. In our sinful nature, we are utterly helpless and buried beneath the weight of our sin, and we have absolutely no hope of being cleansed from our condition. In Arabic, this is “mish mumkin” – not possible.
And that’s where Jesus comes in, and does the cleansing for us – if we let Him. He takes all that trash inside of us – inside our mind, inside our heart – and completely forgives us for it, cleaning us up and giving us a fresh new start. We no longer have to be buried by the weight of our sin because He has taken it upon Himself and paid the price to have it removed. There is no greater gift, and it’s free.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”