In a box of my Dad's old books, I found the August 1971 issue of Readers Digest. There was a funny story in the “Humor in Uniform” section that made me laugh. It was written by a new recruit and said: “A few years ago, the Army post where I was learning the ropes to be an M.P. was experiencing a rash of thefts. So when a 2 1/2-ton truck came to the gate with a very nervous-looking civilian behind the wheel, my corporal decided to give me a lesson in how to search a departing vehicle. Springing into action, he looked in the back of the truck, under the canopy, in the tire well, under the hood, under the seat. Satisfied that the truck was "clean," the corporal waved it through, obviously proud of the lesson he had just given me. Later, we found out why the driver looked so nervous — he was stealing the truck!”
Things are not always as they appear. Consider your neighbors. You never know who your neighbors really are. There was a bookkeeper who worked for the Mafia. When he was caught embezzling by his bosses, he decided to turn states evidence. He took incriminating evidence to the police, and helped convict his bosses and received immunity from prosecution. In order to protect his life, he was placed into the United States Federal Witness Protection Program (USFWPP), and given a new residence and identity. He now lives in a normal American neighborhood completely undetected. So, your neighbor could be a former embezzler for the Mafia!
The term “hiding in plain view” is an interesting concept. Many people do this by assuming a new identity, changing their clothes, and moving to a new city. Their old life is left behind, and they begin a new life. Like the former Mafia bookkeeper, they start over.
This is a useful illustration of what happens when we accept Christ as Savior. Though we are guilty of many crimes, and worthy of punishment, God gives us the opportunity to start over. Through confession and repentance of our sins, we are accepted into the Body of Christ, and live under the cover of the Blood of Christ! That is such a powerful concept: UNDERCOVER! Do you remember the old hymn, “Under the Blood” by Eliza E. Hewitt?
Under the Blood, the precious Blood,
Under the cleansing, healing flood;
Keep me, Savior, from day to day;
Under Your precious Blood.”
We leave our old identity behind, and become known as a Christian. You could be a truck thief, murderer, embezzler, or any other criminal, and find forgiveness in Christ. Paul wrote: “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)
As new Christians, we go UNDERCOVER – under the cover of the Blood of Jesus.