Saturday, March 22, 2008

Still Don't Get It

The whole thing just doesn't make any sense to me. Try and follow this.

God creates the world and sets up a paradise situation. He creates the first couple of people, who basically have three things they're supposed to do- name the animals, eat and have sex. They have one rule- don't eat the fruit. They just HAVE to disobey that one rule to ruin everything. God casts them out but still loves them

The world gets so screwed up that God decides to wipe it out and start over, but has compassion on one family. He instructs them to build an ark to save their lives as well as many animal species they'll need to survive. Seems like a good restarting point, but they start sinning the minute they get off the boat.

Time goes on. The Israelites turn against God and worship a cow, even after he displayed his amazing power and got them out of slavery. Then Moses screwed up, David screwed up, Solomon screwed up. Ninevah, Sodom, Gomorrah. The list goes on and on. Mankind has demonstrated an ongoing penchant for having no respect for God. They have demonstrated that there is no way possible they can even earn their way into his good graces again. And yet he loves them.

He loves them so much, SO MUCH, that he comes up with a last ditch effort, one more desperate plan, to bring them back in. He comes to Earth as a baby. One minute he's in heaven, the next he's in a cold smelly barn. His life is instantly threatened and his family has to disappear for a while. He grows up as a carpenter's son in poor surroundings, likely amidst whisperings of the odd conditions of his miraculous birth. And yet he loves them.

When he decides to start preaching he's rejected more than he's accepted. They try to run him off a cliff. They drive him out of town after town. His disciples demonstrate no faith in him and no understanding of who he is or what he stands for. And yet he loves them.

He arranges a meal to explain his ultimate fate, and during the meal one of his dearest friends leaves to betray him. He's arrested and thrown in prison, and dragged around from one puppet court to another. He's beaten with whips woven with jagged stone and glass designed to rip flesh from bone. His beard is ripped out of his face and a crown of two-inch thorns is pressed into his scalp. And yet he loves them.

The crowd has an opportunity to free him and they choose a hardened criminal over him. And yet he loves them.

In his physically weakened state, he drags a cross through town amidst mockery and beatings. He's stripped naked. He's strapped to the cross, and huge rugged spikes are driven into his hands and feet. He looks down on the people laughing at him through his blood-soaked eyes as he pitifully tries to push himself up to gasp for breath. He asks for water and they give him vinegar. "Forgive them father, they don't know what they're doing." And yet he loves them.

And then he dies, so that all that sinning can be paid for with his blood.

And then he comes BACK and people still don't believe it and keep right on sinning.

And yet he loves us.

Man... I get bent out of shape if someone takes the last bagel at work.

I don't say that to make a joke of it at all. I'm just saying that after ll these years, I STILL can't fathom the unconditional love that God has for us.

Happy Easter all.


Josh said...

I don't get it either...

but I'm grateful.

He is Risen!

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