Since my sophomore year of college, I’ve been making banana bread from the bananas I let sit in the corner of my kitchen counter and turn brown before I could eat them. I’ve always been pretty bad about eating them before they’re too far gone, so I was thrilled when I learned there was something good these mushy bananas could be used for! Not just that, but it transformed into something so much sweeter and delicious – something like banana bread.
That same year of college was the first time my eyes were opened to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I began seeing its imprint on everything in the world. I even began to see it in the process of making banana bread. But how exactly does banana bread remind me of the gospel? Allow me to share. This isn’t a perfect metaphor, so bear with me, but I love that I am reminded of the redemptive story of the gospel every time I look at the over-ripened bananas that wait expectantly on my counter to turn into a new and tasty treat.
If you’ve ever seen a brown banana there is nothing appetizing about it. Leave them sitting out too long and you’ll even start seeing little flies hanging around (guilty). They are rotten, mushy, useless, and better suited for the trash can than on a plate for eating. So it caught me off guard the first time I realized the recipe was calling for these as the main ingredient. To compare this to the gospel, WE are these brown bananas.
Before our redemption through Jesus Christ, our reality looked about like that of the bananas. We were dead in our sins and trespasses, and left on our own could do nothing to change the state we were in. There was nothing desirable about us or in us and our sin had separated us from God. Thankfully though, for those who love and trust in Christ to save them from this pitiable state, brown bananas are not who we are. We have been given the gift of salvation and new life!
When you make banana bread, there is no denying these bananas have been made new. With a little sugar, vanilla, flour, and a lottttt of butter, the once overly-ripened fruit is a new creation. They are now essentially unrecognizable if you didn’t know where they started. What once was useless has been given new life!
Sound familiar? When we have been buried with Christ and died to our sins and passions of this world, we are then raised to new life. We who to some seemed “too far gone” ourselves have been given new life and purpose and hope. Our identity is no longer the same. Before we were slaves to sin, broken, and lost. But because of the work of the cross, Christ is our life! His Spirit lives within us and his joy is our joy, his love is our love, and his peace is our peace. That is a transformation much better than banana bread, but you get the point!
Seeing the Gospel in Small Things
Cooking banana bread is not the only thing that reflects the redemption story, but it is one of my favorites. My hope is that we would all see the good news of what Jesus Christ did for us in our daily lives and even in the little things. And that remembering it would cause us to repent and rejoice in the gift of salvation He offers us. My banana bread metaphor may be silly, but the gospel is not and it changes everything!
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:1-10
And just in case you came to this blog looking for a new recipe, I’ll pass along one of my favorites with 65 other ways to make something out of ripened bananas. Enjoy!