hey, so I haven’t really posted much lately. I’ve had a lot on my mind, and to be perfectly honest I’ve been hit with the mack truck of reality. I’ve been going through a lot of changes in my life lately, and I honestly don’t know if I’m the same person as I was when I wrote the last post. God has been refining me, and I think it all comes back to the simple truth…
For God so loved the world
that he gave his only son,
that whoever believes in him
shall not perish
but have eternal life.
So often we try to fancy these words up. make them mean something more then they do. So many times christians(myself included) get caught up in the do’s and don’t’s of christianity…. when in reality that isn’t what it’s about at all.
Currently I’m reading A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers. This book follows a Christian Jew, Hadassah, who was captured in the siege of Jerusalem and sold into slavery in Rome. In the forward to this book Rivers talks about why she started writing this book series. She related her hesitance at sharing her newfound faith and how she began writing about Hadassah not as a way of sharing her faith, but to explore her own weakness. I am currently on page 340, and Hadassah has finally let the proverbial cat out of the bag. She has shared her faith with the people who own her. Despite the fact that she could be sent to the arena, sent to die for her words, die because of what she believes, she tells her sick master the story of the prodigal son.
“Enoch handed a goblet to Phoebe and poured another. Decimus glanced up at his rigid face as he took it. ‘which son are you, Enoch?’ he said.
‘I am not familiar with that story,’ Enoch said stiffly. ‘may I bring you anything else, my lord?’
Decimus dismissed him and smiled faintly as he watched him leave the room. ‘I would guess the older son to be a righteous Jew who obeys the law.’
‘Then the younger is the Jew who has turned away from his religion.,’ Phoebe said. She glanced at Hadassah for confirmation.
‘Mankind was created in God’s image, my lady. Not only the Jew.’ Hadassah looked at Decimus. ‘We are all God’s children. He loves us equally, whether Jew or Gentile, slave or free. We cannot earn his love, we can only accept it as a gift-a gift that he will give to each one of us.’
Decimus was amazed at her words, amazed even further that she had spoken them aloud. The mask had slipped and the true face of religion was before him.”
reading this passage, I couldn’t help but be reminded that sharing your faith is not telling people that they are dirty rotten sinners and they are going to hell… I’ve never seen a soul won out of guilt. It isn’t God’s power, God’s majesty, God’s awesomeness, God’s science, or even God’s overwhelming sacrifice that saves this generation. Those things are awesome, but that isn’t what draws people to Christ….
For God so loved the world.
I was watching a rotten tomatoes movie review thing that was talking about the top five worst parents in movie history. The #2 worst parent was God. Their reasoning was that no good parent would allow their own child to be tortured like Jesus was. But what Brett and Ellen failed to realize is that that’s the beauty of it all. God didn’t send his son to die because he’s some kind of sadist who takes cruel pleasure in watching his own flesh and blood be mocked, tortured, stripped, and finally killed in the most shameful, painful manner… He did it because he loves us so much. that he endured watching his son become everything that he despised and finally be killed. He sent his son, not any son, his ONLY son, his beloved son, the heir of his throne, the apple of his eye, to die in the place of you and me.
Because the plain hard truth is that we don’t deserve to live. It isn’t one of our inalienable rights. We have no more right to life then we have the right to be God. We suck. We are the scum of the earth. We rejected God, the one who made such a large sacrifice for us. God went to hell and back(LITERALLY) for us. He offers us life, not just any life, but eternal life! He offers a home. He offers peace, joy, job security, a family, and best of all, he offers the biggest love affair the universe has ever known…
and all he asks in return is your acceptance.
he doesn’t want your money, he doesn’t want your fancy car, he doesn’t want your idea of good and worthy, because he says that all that stuff is like dirty rags to him. He just wants a contrite heart. He wants a sincere apology. He wants you to come as the younger son came and say “Father, I am not worthy to be called your son, please let me be a servant.”
And then comes the party.
I’m not guaranteeing an easy life. But trust me. It’s worth it, This love affair. There are ups and downs, but the love…. It makes you do crazy things. Like share your faith when you are staring death in the face. When those might be your last words….. The passion is in the risk.
I totally agree with you about the Rotten Tomatoes thing. There are a lot of people who make God out to be a sadist because of the cross. But they only do this because they fail to recognize two vitally important points: One, the holiness of God demands that He not brush sin under the rug. Just forgiving the world was not an option. God’s justice had to be satisfied, His wrath had to be poured out. God had a choice-either Christ goes to the cross or humanity is lost. God chose to save the world. Second, not only was God the Father willing to send the Son to die. Not only was God the Father willing to pour out His wrath on God the Son. But God the Son was willing to be given to die. God the Son was willing to absorb the wrath of God for sinners.
The cross is not sadism because 1) there was no other way by which man could be saved and 2) Christ willingly laid down His life for mankind.
Great thoughts. Great post.