Monday, August 4, 2008

In Search Of Truth


Looking At Truth In "Spirit Blade: Chapter 5"

When Isaiah joins Merikk in a journey across time and space, they witness the death of Yeisou. Isaiah attempts to put into words aspects of Christ's crucifixion that at best we can only try to grasp.

How is it that by one person dying, billions upon billions of lives, past, present and future, could be forgiven by God for every mistake, every selfish thought, every imperfection they possess? How could one life ever balance the scales?

The answer is found by looking at the worth of Jesus' life. Based on the law God gave his people, the Jews-

(Hebrews 9:13) The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean.

God didn't institute the sacrificial system because he hated animals, loves violence and likes seeing animals suffer. After all, if animals weren't worth anything to God, it wouldn't be a "sacrifice" to kill them, would it?

God hates sin, but loves us. Because he is a perfect and just God, he can't tolerate injustice. So until a completely satisfying payment could be made for the sins of humans, God created the system of animal sacrifice to remind us of the terrible price that must be paid for rebelling against the God we owe everything to. (Hebrews 10:1-4) He could have forced us to pay the price personally, instantly killing anyone who sins, but that would wipe out the human race! And God loves us, so that's no solution!

So God has a problem to solve. There has to be some form of payment that will be worth enough to cover the debt of all sin through all of history. If he ignores our sins, God might still be loving, but he's no longer just. There has to be compensation. Animals aren't worth enough. Hebrews 9:13 said they were only enough to make us "outwardly clean". But look at the next verse-

(Hebrews 9:14) How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

Because Jesus is God, his life is worth infinitely more than the lives of all humanity. For us, "perfect" is an abstract concept that we can't truly comprehend. But God is perfect in every sense of the word. Because of this, we'll never be able to comprehend what Jesus gave up to live on earth and die the way that he did, cut off from God the Father. But God determined this "sacrifice" to be a punishment worth the crime . Jesus stepped up to the plate and essentially said, "I'll do it. I'll take the punishment for them."

At the end of this, we see a picture of God that is perfectly loving AND perfectly just. These two elements of God's character seem potentially at odds, but God found a way to live up to them both. We tried to capture that truth from a different angle in "Spirit Blade" and hope that if nothing else, it stimulates some thought for you as you listen.

For a Biblical summary of God's strategy regarding humans, we've included what many people nickname, "The Roman Road". These are all verses from the New Testament book of Romans that outline God's strategy regarding Humans, Sin and Jesus-

3:10,12 As the Scriptures say, "No one is good- not even one." "All have turned away from God; all have gone wrong. No one does good, not even one.

3:23 For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard.

6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

5:8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

3:24 Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins.

10:9-10 For 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. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

Coffee House Question

If you could stand in the same room with God and get the answer to one question, what would it be?

Next Week: 1 Thessalonians Chapter 2!

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