Wednesday, January 4, 2012
The Simple Goods
God gave Moses the laws. Jews tried to keep them meticulously. The penalties were severe, if not fatal, for non-compliance. The triune Godhead knew that the Old Testament culture would be a flop. (any rule-keeping group will flop). The New Testament culture was not meant to be choice# 2, but rather phase # 2.
Then God instituted the program of Grace by Faith. The only perfectly obedient Jew would be Jesus. Never sinning, but tempted often like other mortals. When He died He would stand as the blameless sin-offering Lamb. There was to be no fracture or blemish ; otherwise Holiness would not be appeased.
But Holiness already had the plan. Christ would die. His resurrection would corroborate that He was Messiah. Now, we do not say "do this, and do not do that". Rather we say that it has already been DONE for us voluntarily - the suffering and the dying and the "fine paying".
It's as if the Judge has called you up on the carpet and said "You gotta be guilty. But here's a piece of Good News. My Son is down at the fines wicket with buckets of money. Simply believe this and go down and ask Him to do it for you. Then go free; and oh, by the way, I adopt you and give you the same privileges and honour as the firstborn. I see Him now in you. I expect to receive the loving respect of a Father. My Spirit will help you in all of this."
We can't countenance this . We are more used to rule-keeping. Gotta have something to do to prove ourselves. But not with God. He's the Giver. On His terms. And blood-letting is involved.
This is not harsh. This is free. Simple enough for a child. Repentance gains admission. But it cost that charismatic teacher/healer of Galilee so very much. He was up for it. For a family. And the mourning did not go on for too long. He is risen! Presently seated at the right hand of God the Father. Now who gets the privilege of sitting at the right hand of a king? His equal. His Son.
Many will hear all of this and retort, "It is too full of guilt, too full of bloodshed; people don't behave this way. I can't be all that bad."
Sorry, God sets the rules. He has also presented this way, this single way, for mercy to triumph over judgment, 'for righteousness and peace to kiss each other'.
Enter through this door. Receive increasing measures of the Holy Spirit. See how the lights turn on. He is love. His Son has embodied it for us...all the way.