Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The {story}

Imagine you are not a Christian. Imagine you have never heard of the Gospel, and you have no idea who Jesus really is. Take out all of your preconceived ideas and beliefs surrounding God and create a blank slate in your mind.

Let me tell you a story while you are in this mindset.

Before the Earth was created, there was God. God was, He just was. He created man and woman and He loved them, oh how He loved them.  Man and women were tempted, enticed by their own evil desires, and drawn into sin, which literally broke the Father's heart. The sin carried out by the man and woman separated them from God, and hurt generation after generation after generation... God is absolutely perfect- there is no blemish in Him.  And because He is so perfect, He cannot have anything to do with sin.  God is a righteous Judge and He must punish sin because He is just.  He gave His people laws and sacrifices to atone for their sins, but the people could not fulfill the law and they continued in their sin, continually breaking the heart of their Father.  But He still loved them. The law prophesied a Savior, a Messiah who would save the people from their sins. The people were expecting Him, yet when He came, they did not recognize Him.  God knew that the only One who could take the punishment of the sins commited by the people was an Umblemished Sacrifice- No One else would do. He had to let His wrath out on One who was perfect, and because all of man is sinful, He had to send His only Son so that whoever believed in Him would not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Jesus came for the lost; you have murdered? I will take your punishment. You have lied? I will teach you truth. You have committed adultery? I will show you true love. You are poor? I will show you real treasure. You are sick? I will heal you. You are thirsty? I satisfy. You are unqualified? I justify. You are lonely? I will be with you. You are weak? I am strong.  The people of His day were livid because this was not the Saviour they had expected. They wanted a strong, fierce ruler who would reward all their good deeds and works. Yet they received Jesus, the Son of God who was dining with the "sinners" and spending all of His time with the "least of these". They were outraged. They placed Him on a cross, nailed His hands to the wood for the flesh to rip as they held His body on the pole. They gave Him a crown of thorns that pierced His head as He was mocked and spit on. The physical abuse to the Son of God was horrendous, but this was not the punishment that saved us. The act that separates Jesus from criminal isn't that He died on the cross, even though He was innocent. The act that saved us is that the wrath of God was put on His shoulders as the Father turned to look away from His beloved Son. God is perfect, He cannot have anything to do with sin. So as Jesus obeyed the Father in taking our righteous punishment for our sin upon His shoulders, God had to separate Himself from His Son. His Perfect Son. 
That is the glorious news! We don't have to try and sacrifice anymore, no good deed will ever atone, but Jesus is enough. 

Go back, imagine you have never heard this story. Imagine the first time you listened to someone tell it to you. It is too much for you to take in and truly believe without the God of the Universe actively working in your heart. And that is the beauty.

The beauty is that even as I tell this story to my unbelieving friends, I do not have to cheapen it- I don't have to be the coauthor and add my own twists, I don't have to leave out parts in fear of judgment, I don't have to change it at all. 

Jesus commanded that we share what He has done in our lives, so that is what I do. I pray for the people that I tell it to, I pray that He opens their hearts to the truth, I pray that he clarifies misunderstandings, and He does. God works in the heart and all I have to do is tell the story with action and truth. 

I encourage you to tell the story and trust God to draw His people to Him. He is so glorious. 

2 comments:

  1. We were just talking about the Pascal mystery last week too! Sometimes it's hard for us, even as Christians, to wrap our minds around the fact that the Holy trinity is *one* God and Jesus, in a sense, had to separate from himself. True death is total separation from God and it is true Jesus suffered in *every* way. Too often do we think of His Passion as merely physical. It was spiritual as well. Great post Mal!

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