We passed a dog lying on the road the other day causing me to speculate on why so many dogs feel that the side of the road is such a good place to take a nap. Three or four days later, the dog was still there, only it was about twice its normal size. A particularly strong, foul odor had begun to emanate in its vicinity. The smell was so strong my gag reflex almost made an appearance. My eyes began to water. It was bad. Being the intuitive being that I am, I soon deduced that the dog was not simply sleeping, but rather had lain down for a permanent nap, probably a gift from one of the many gravel trucks that roar up and down the highway in their never ending attempt to send a rock into my windshield.
Not being in the medical field, I could only guess at the reason behind why something dead begins to stink. As a pastor, my thoughts tried to determine a spiritual reason and this is what I assumed. Death is the result of sin. Because of sin, we have to live and deal with the stench of death. But why does it have to smell so bad? My feeling is that it is a constant reminder of the effects of sin. Sure, we might see a dead dog and let it lie, but we still have to smell the stink.
Then I considered the death of Jesus. Could my well thought out idea about death and stink be nothing but just a well thought out idea? Jesus knew no sin. Then it hit me. His death caused the death of sin. When God witnessed the death of our Lord, it was a sweet smelling savor and not a stench. The wages of sin might be death, but the gift of God is eternal life.
Our sin comes at us through the constant reminder of the stink of a dead animal. Next time you pass an over-sized skunk lying on the road in the heat of August; just consider that it is sin that causes that stink. Then look up as you hold your breath and thank God that the sinless death of Jesus Christ will take it all away.