Maybe the Saddest Sin

Hardness of heart must be the most fearsome of sins: the lack of compassion, the heart's closed door. The Book says it provoked the gentle Savior to anger when other infractions did not. Greedy, short little Zaccheus didn't make Him angry -- in fact He went to lunch with him. The sinful woman who bathed His feet with her tears was kindly received. The woman taken in adultery didn't upset Him, but her accusers did. He offered the Samaritan woman who had had five husbands the Water of Life. But when the Pharisees objected to His healing a withered hand on the Sabbath, Scripture says He looked at them with anger because of the hardness of their hearts. And it was this same group that moved Him to indignation by setting up a superstore in the temple. Not only were they merchandising in the House of Prayer, but apparently they were cheating the people because He denounced the operation as a den of thieves.

We would do well to note what moved the Lord to anger and give it a wide berth. Obviously, it is a heart problem. The one that is hard and impenetrable is a closed door, the saddest and most dangerous condition of all. On the other hand, the one that is broken and contrite is open to let the Savior in, and the Psalm says that God will not despise it. So the broken-hearted repentant sinner is in better shape than the closed-hearted, loveless man trying desperately to keep the religious rules. For one there remains hope; for the other the Lord's anger. When the heart is broken, the Light can come in, but for the closed and hardened heart, there remains only darkness. The Lord weeps as He stands outside that door, but it opens only from the inside.

Aline Edson

Published in The Old Paths Archive