The Curse of the Black Spot

For a pirate, receiving the dreaded “black spot” spells certain doom. The death notice mark appears in pirate lore from Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1883 novel “Treasure Island” to Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean,” as well as countless other pirate tales. When a pirate receives the black spot, its Davey Jones’ locker for him.

In chapter three of Treasure Island a sinister pirate, disguised as a blind beggar, delivers a black spot to Captain Billy Bones at the Admiral Benbow Inn. With the black spot in hand, the sea-weathered pirate drops dead. Later in the story the mutinous crew slips John Silver the black spot in an effort to depose him. They inscribed the summons on a page torn from a Bible that belonged to one of the pirate crew.

While the black spot of the pirates exists as a fictional literary device, the Bible speaks of an actual black spot carried by every human without exception. When our first human parents, Adam and Eve, rebelled against their creator a curse came upon the entire human race. “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12)

You have received the black spot. You prove that you possess the death mark every time you break God’s law. The Ten Commandments reveal God’s eternal moral standards. The Bible says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” Have you ever lied? The Bible says, “Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain.” Have you ever spoken God’s name blasphemously? God calls the breaking of his moral law “sin.” “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and “the wages of sin is death.” Much worse than walking the plank or the hangman’s noose – the curse of physical death, spiritual death, and eternal death rests upon you because of your sin against God. “The soul that sins, it must die.” (Ezekiel 18:20)

You choose to ignore the black spot at your own peril. The curse of the black spot can not be hidden, forgotten, or absolved, but here is the good news, it can be transferred. God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ. Born sinless, the curse of Adam did not rest upon Him. When Jesus died on the cross, as the perfect substitute, He took the curse upon himself for all who would repent of their sin and turn to him in faith. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” (Galatians 3:13) “You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)

Repent of your sin and trust in Christ. “Repent therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out,” (Acts 3:19) “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)

“In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3)

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