Monday, March 20, 2017

Whose Pain?

So sad that in a season in which we should be focused on the suffering and pain of our Savior that we are focused on a therapeutic message about our own pain. Perhaps this could occur only in the West with our narcissistic view of life. While much of the world struggles for day-to-day survival, we have affluent time to focus on our feelings and to bow down at the altar of self-absorption. Rather than seeking to be conformed to the image of the Crucified Savior, we seek to feel better about ourselves.

One of the sad consequences of this is that it shrouds the Christ of the Cross and the true eternal redemption and healing that the Cross of Christ offers to those who will repent of their sins and way of life apart from God – and who, in repentance, will take up their cross and follow Jesus Christ. There is no closure with therapeutic Deism; only in Christ and His Cross is there closure and rebirth into the image of God.

While in no way minimizing the evil that is in this world, while in no way minimizing the hideous works of evil that touch affluent societies as well as those societies which struggle with daily survival – our suffering, no matter the unspeakable depths to which it may descend, pales alongside the suffering of Jesus Christ as He bore the sins of the world, as He bore the people of the world, as He died as the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world.

This is love, not that God gave us a treat of cotton candy so that we might feel better for a little while on this earth; but that God gave His only begotten Son to bear the sins of the world – He made Him who knew no sin to become sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Only one of us has lived the fullness of Isaiah 53; His name is Jesus Christ.

Whether taught in a magnificent cathedral, in a corner church, or in a shack, anything that bases our redemption on anyone other than the Biblical Christ of the Cross is not the Gospel – God’s justice, judgment, love, and mercy are all found in Jesus Christ on the Cross – and the pain and suffering that brought redemption to us, in and through Jesus Christ, is what we ought to be focused on during Lent. When we see that Jesus Christ is our merciful and faithful High Priest (Hebrews 4:14 – 16) we can in freedom and acceptance go to the “throne of grace” in our deepest need and deepest pain – for Jesus Christ has gone before us.

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