It all happened this way. I decided I would seek to whiten my teeth. While my dentist and his oral hygienist recently gave me a clean bill of health, I was not satisfied with the color of my teeth. So, I set about to whiten them.
As I perused the toothpaste aisle and its myriad selection of products at the local supercenter, I eventually settled on a given brand – not so much because of the package as much as because of the sheer frustration I felt in the face of so many options.
Imagine my surprise when I got home and squeezed out my first brush full of paste only to discover that it was black! Yes, black! I freaked! What was this?! I turned over the tube and quickly found the answer. It said that it was the one whitening toothpaste with the key ingredient of... you guessed it - charcoal! I had honestly purchased it unaware that it touted the inclusion of this miraculous key ingredient!
But, having plopped down over four dollars for the tube, I decided that I simply had too much invested to back out now! Nervously, I squeezed the tube and applied the black blob to my toothbrush. Thereafter, I was taken aback when a large mass of black foam accumulated in my mouth. I was further mortified when I spit it out and the sink was filled with utter blackness, the likes of which had not been seen since Dante described the inner linings of Purgatory itself!
And yet, surprisingly, when I had finished rinsing, the black mass was gone from my mouth in general, and from my teeth in particular, none of which were the worse for the experience. So I kept on using the stuff.
And now, a week later, my teeth are honestly whiter. Much whiter! Whatever else charcoal does, I can attest that it definitely whitens teeth.
But caveat emptor! ("Let the buyer beware!") For I have discovered that it does one other thing as well. It darkens one’s toothbrush! Not that the toothbrush itself turns totally black. It doesn’t. But there on the head, where the bristles are attached, down in those incredibly small holes, one can clearly see the blackness growing with each application of charcoal toothpaste.
At first, I was quite alarmed at this unforeseen side effect. I thought it must be mold or something. But I soon realized that in the process of applying the charcoal to my teeth, I was also applying it to my toothbrush. Somehow, in the process, my teeth were getting whiter, but my brush was getting darker.
The great irony is that the exact opposite of this had been true before the process began. Somehow, along the way, my pearly white toothbrush was getting darker; yet all the while, my stained teeth were getting whiter! It was as if each one took on the characteristics of the other. The result was a transfer of properties in that each one took on the properties of the other.
As I have reflected on this, I have been reminded of what the Bible has to say in the Apostle Paul’s Second Letter to the Christians at Corinth (chapter 5, verse 21): “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
The Amplified Bible translates this verse this way: “He made Christ who knew no sin to [judicially] be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we would become the righteousness of God [that is, we would be made acceptable to Him and placed in a right relationship with Him by His gracious lovingkindness].”
In this one single verse, we clearly see the Divine transfer of properties between the holy and righteous and unblemished Son of God and you and I, the imperfect human beings originally created in His image but now plagued by the discoloring stain of sin!
He took upon us the qualities and results of our darkness in order that our crimson souls might become white as snow, and that our sin-stained souls might be made clean and unblemished in His sight!
The result, as planned all along by God, is that the He Who was without sin, Jesus Christ, became sin in order that we who were without righteousness might become the righteousness demanded by God!
I, for one, will gladly embrace a stained toothbrush if it will give me whiter teeth. More to the point, I will gladly embrace the Only Begotten Son of God because He alone has taken upon Him my sin and given me eternal life in exchange!
What about you? Do you desire whiter teeth? As paradoxical as it sounds, I highly recommend charcoal black toothpaste. It really does clean one’s stained teeth.
Do you desire a soul that is whiter than snow? Then I highly recommend the Only Begotten Son of God. He really does deliver on His promise to cleanse any soul which is stained!
SCRIPTURE SOURCES: https://biblehub.com/2_corinthians/5-21.htm.