If you've ever traveled in London on "the Tube" (London's subway system), then you've no doubt encountered the warning painted on virtually all loading platforms that reads, "Mind the Gap." Of course, this warning is meant as a reminder of the physical gap between the subway train and the loading platform. You are encouraged to "mind" it so as not to stumble, get a foot stuck, or lose belongings. I'm not sure how many Londoners and tourists have found themselves "trapped in the gap" or how many mobile phones are lost in a day on the Tube, but there must be ample justification for the amount of paint that is used annually to keep these warnings bright, bold, and conspicuous.
During this season of Lent, however, I cannot help but think about this warning from a different perspective. As a sinful people, we find ourselves in a situation where a spiritual gap exists between us and God. Because He is infinitely holy and righteous, and we are finite, depraved, and iniquitous, this gap--unlike the subway gap in London--is not one we can easily step over. In fact, it is a chasm that cannot be humanly bridged.
Realizing this, of course, God the Father sent his only Son to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus Christ came to earth, lived a perfect life, voluntarily dragged his own cross to Calvary, suffered humiliation, took the undeserved burden of sin upon himself, tasted the bitter sting of death, and, as a result, atoned for the sins of man. After being in the grave for three days, however, he victoriously rose from the dead in order to conquer sin and death for all time. By doing this, he also created a means for mankind to possess--through belief (i.e., justification) and continual Christian growth (i.e., sanctification)--his righteousness, his holiness, and his victorious and eternal life. In other words, Jesus Christ created the bridge!
"Minding the gap" in a spiritual sense, then, is remembering who we are without Christ. In this season of Lent, it is important to recognize our inherent fallenness and depravity so that we might better appreciate what Christ did for us. The gap that was bridged is not one we could have handled alone. It took a Suffering Servant, Redeemer, and Friend to build that bridge for us!
So the next time you travel in London, or the next time you step onto a train or subway, watch out for the gap! Don't stumble or drop your keys or cell phone into it. But also remember that there is a more significant gap in your life that, as a believer, you no longer have to worry about because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because of his grace, God has "minded the gap" for you, and now you live in freedom.