Having taught Kindergarten for a number of years, I learned a thing or two myself along the way. I was lucky enough to have taught at a Christian school where things were centered on God. Every year at this time, we would take the children to the pumpkin patch and then come back and carve a pumpkin for each class. We would use the pumpkin to provide the children with an illustration that I think we could all understand. We talked about the fact that in order to be able to put a light in a pumpkin as is the custom, we had to first get all the “yucky” stuff out of the inside. We would cut open the top and proceed to scrape out all the gook allowing each child to get a handful themselves. We compared the “gook” to the sin we have in our heart, and how we can’t have the light of Jesus in us until He comes in and “cleans us out”. But first we have to ask Him to come into our hearts. After we got the gook out and carved the face (always happy of course) we put the candle inside and lit it. We would turn off the lights, and allow the glow of the pumpkin to light up the room. I will never forget the first time I heard this illustration and what a simple understanding it gave me of sin.Of course all of us have carved our own pumpkins through the years and we fully understand what a messy job it can be. But I always found joy in seeing it lit up at night, a soft glow coming from every opening I had created.
Jesus’ job on the cross was a very messy one. He allowed himself to be cut and carved in our place. He allowed himself take all of our “gook” with Him to the grave. But he didn’t stay there long. He rose victorious, leaving our sin behind. Next time you see a pumpkin I hope you will remember this illustration and remember how lucky we are to have a Savior who comes in our hearts and cleans it out whenever we ask. May His light always shine in you!