I hate dust.
I hate dusting.
It is an interminable evil.
It seems as soon as I’ve got one corner of the house cleaned, another is crying out to be dusted…again!
It never quits.
It’s a constant in our lives.
I’m convinced it is a curse!
Do you think I exaggerate?
I do not.
Dust is proof of the curse we’re under as we walk upon this earth.
If you’ve never actually thought it through, think with me now. The composition of a dustbunny is made up of dead skin cells, animal/human hair, lint, light rubbish and debris. It is the sloughing off of our lives. Decay in action.
Death surrounds us.
Yesterday was cleaning day around here and my son’s job was to vacuum the workroom (our word for the office). The workroom is often ignored on cleaning day, so the job was huge. About five minutes into it, I could hear his sneezing. As the sneezing increased, so did his cursing. Soon after, he came into the studio where I was tediously beading his sister’s homecoming dress and declared,
“I’m not doing this job.”
I wasn’t meaning to be heartless, but the declaration was humorous to me. It made me think of Adam daring to speak back to God after being told he would work hard, toil with the earth, and eventually return to dust because of the curse of his sin (Gen. 3:17-19).
In general, the themes of the curse oracles are important in the NT teaching that Jesus became the cursed one hanging on the tree. In his suffering and death, all the motifs are drawn together: the tree, the sweat, the thorns, and the dust of death:
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us
for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”
My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?
My life is poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax, melting within me.
My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay.
My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead.
They have pierced my hands and feet.
I can count every bone in my body. My enemies stare at me and gloat.
They divide my clothes among themselves and throw dice for my garments.
But God —
Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the Living God —
He took the curse of death away.
But He was wounded and crushed for our sins.
He was beaten that we might have peace.
He was whipped, and we were healed!
All of us have strayed away like sheep.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the LORD laid on Him the guilt and sins of us all.
Jesus experienced it all. He lived among us.
A man of sorrows who understands our sorrows.
A man who toiled with the thorns and the dust of death.
He took it all upon Himself.
The curse was laid upon Him at the cross
So that WE could have victory over death.
And, through the resurrection,
He conquered the sting of death.
Yes, for now — until The Day dawns for us and we are forever with Christ — we will deal with dust. But our souls? Our souls have been made new. And in our resurrected life, we will NEVER have to dust again!
So, Blessed One, next time you’re dusting the furniture, setting all the knick knacks back into place — for the umpteenth time! — sneezing, wheezing, and maybe even cursing — remember:
When this happens––
when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed
into heavenly bodies that will never die
––then at last the Scriptures will come true:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.
How we thank God,
who gives us victory over sin and death
through Jesus Christ our Lord!
~1 Corinthians 15:54-57