The Cleansing of the Brumbies

There I stood, knee deep in mud. Surrounding me were about 50 men and women. Each of us wore a few rubber bands on our wrists. We were all together in the middle of a giant, disgusting mud pit. All of a sudden, a young man standing about twenty feet in front of me yelled through a megaphone, “You gotta get dirty brumbies! Mud should be on more than just your knees!” After he finished speaking I glanced to my left and noticed a fellow in his late thirties rubbing mud into his thick black beard. On my right, a tall woman was massaging mud onto her arms. I decided that although it seemed vile and horrendous to do so, I had better get real dirty as well. To accomplish this I lowered myself down until every part of my body except my head was immersed in mud. I then got up and put mud under my eyes like a football player. Now I was ready. Outside of the mud pit, a lone man stood in front of a wide pathway that cut through a thick forest. Without warning, that man faced the path and screamed, “The brumbies are ready; come and get ‘em!” For a moment, everything was silent. Then the forest came alive with the screams of elementary school children as they charged out from the path towards the mud pit. Without thought for their own cleanliness, the hordes of children waded into the mud and began their attack, attempting to rip the rubber bands off of the wrists of the men and women in the mud pit. From there, chaos ensued. I was quickly tackled into the mud by three children who would stop at nothing to get my rubber bands. I returned their attack by standing up and lightly tossing one of the children into the mud. I don’t really remember much about the next fifteen minutes of that game. All I know is that my rubber bands were eventually stripped from my arms and I ended up covered in mud.

That game is a very popular one at the Pine Cove Christian Camps. As far as I know it does not have an official name, but we workers lovingly referred to it as “brumbies.” Supposedly, the object of the game was for the children to obtain as many of our rubber bands as they possibly could. The real object of the game, however, is to get dirty. Honestly, that is all that brumbies was to the kids. It was nothing more than an excuse to get themselves and the workers as dirty as possible. And they certainly did so. In fact, after that game I was the dirtiest I have ever been in my entire life. I was covered in layer upon layer of mud and it was everywhere. I am pretty sure that you could not see a single patch of skin on me. The mud was so bad that it got into the eyes of some of the stout and manly grown men and made them cry! At no other point in my life have I ever wanted to take a shower more than I did then.

I think that the sheer dirtiness of that game provides a great example of our sin. After I played brumbies I was the dirtiest that I have ever been, but it did not even compare to how disgusting I am because of sin. The entire world is covered in that sin. Romans 3:23 says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” That verse excludes no one. The Greek word for “all” in that verse is “pantes,” which means every single one of a category. This means that no one can escape their sin. Every single person deserves an eternity of death and pain.

And yet, there is a way for us to escape that eternal condemnation. How can that be possible? Well, that is where Good Friday comes in. On that day Christ took all of our sins upon himself and offered us forgiveness through the cross.

I can’t imagine the pain that Christ must have gone through at that point. Just envision all of that mud and disgusting slop that covered the bodies of the men and women involved in the brumby game. Now imagine that all of that gross dirtiness covers not just the Pine Cove workers, but also the entire world. Take that disgustingness and multiply it times ten. Then visualize all of that revolting filthiness being poured into a cup. In order for us to be saved, Christ drank that cup on Good Friday.

Paul follows the sad news of Romans 3:23 with the glad tidings that “They [Christians] are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” To be justified means to be made right with the law. In order for that to happen, we would have to be perfect. This means that there is absolutely no way that anyone could ever be justified on his/her own. But because of his deep love for us, Jesus Christ laid down his life on Good Friday and made it so that we could be justified through him for free.

good friday

This is a very important thing for us to remember every day, but it is even more important to be reminded of it during Good Friday. Christ loved us so much that he cleansed us of all our brumby slop. My desire for each of you this Good Friday is that you will look back on what Christ did for us and marvel at the beauty of His compassion. I hope you have a Good Friday full of somber remembrance and celebration of Jesus Christ’s unending love for us.

Written by Nathan

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