Monday, January 3, 2011
I See Love
What do you see when you hear or read about Jesus and His death on the cross? Many do not understand the love portrayed on the cross, they only see violence and absurdity. They hold a disdain and a disgust in their heart. I didn't ask you to die for me they exclaim. Many do not understand why those of us who call themselves Christians are drawn to such brutality. Those Christians they will say, are sick, and to glorify such violence is an atrocity, and to even call themselves a Christian is absolutely wrong. How can they do that? They are supposed to be loving and caring yet they look at this brutal death as the bases of their faith. When the Passion of the Christ first came out this was what many were saying, and they would ask the question how can you watch this stuff? They said to much blood, to much brutality. How can you sit and watch a man be tortured and killed in that way? The reply is simple: you may see disgust but I see love. The Bible says that For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God (1 Cor. 1:18). We see the cross as the starting point to a changed life. Some look to themselves to change their own lives. You know the old adage; "If it is going to be it's up to me." So they spend their whole life trying to save themselves when they really know they can't. Something inside of each one of us screams to the truth. Our sinful nature tells us we need a Savior outside of ourselves. For we see love on the cross for by His words; "Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing." This was love in it's purest form. Even to the point of death Jesus was thinking of us as he looked through the millenniums to see the result of this one work. No more were our sins just covered but now they would be cleansed. He humbled Himself and took upon him the job of a servant to show our Father's absolute love for us. To reconcile us to Him again.
But alas because we have been given a free will to accept or reject this greatest gift of love the vast majority will reject the work of the cross because of a myriad of excuses. And some hold to the viewpoint that as long as they are denying the cross they can claim ignorance, even though they are not ignorant they will play it off as an excuse even when they know the truth. So very sad isn't it?
My husband was having a conversation with an older man, he was about 70 years of age. The conversation began with the man asking questions about Jesus and how He was born and how He could be man but God at the same time. If you know my husband this was the beginning of a joyous conversation for he takes great delight in talking to people about Jesus/the Word of God. My husband answered his questions so simply it was beautiful, I was smiling inside thinking wow! what an opportunity he has been given to share the Gospel with someone, for I knew how much my husband loves leading people to the Lord. As the questions and answers continued my husband began sharing his own testimony and experience when he was converted. It was at this point the attitude of the man went from curiosity to being defensive and telling my husband that he was preaching to him but wasn't going to convert him because he didn't believe anything he was saying. My husband graciously said that he was not trying to convert him but only sharing his own experience of conversion. The man began saying: "you Christians think your way is the only way and that everyone who doesn't believe this stuff about Jesus and the cross is bound for hell". "Isn't that what you believe" the man demanded? It was at that point that I chimed in and said, "we believe what the Bible says and yes the Bible says that Jesus is the only way that one can be saved and enter into heaven". "Well" he said, "I don't believe any of that". My husband asked, "have you ever read the Bible"? "No" the man said because I have heard that it is the most difficult book for any one to understand. "Why don't you try reading it" my husband said "and see for yourself if it is difficult to understand"? The man avoided that question and said, "you all know that what you believe makes you the minority don't you"? I said, "Yes and that is alright because we don't mind being the minority when it comes to our beliefs". My husband then said, "the Bible does say the way into life everlasting is the narrow way and only few go there in, so we rejoice in being the minority". He began telling us that he believed he was going to go to heaven because he was a nice person and doesn't treat people bad, therefore that gave him license that in death he would make heaven his home. By the way this man claimed to be agnostic and nothing more. The conversation ended at this point but hopefully a seed was planted and he will continue to think about what was said. This is just one example of one person's idea about the cross. Paul the Apostle hit the nail on the head when he said, how those who are perishing think the preaching of the cross is foolishness. I hope and pray that this man goes from perishing to living in the power of God and will see the cross as love for him before it is to late.
No greater love than this............. and Jesus opened his arms and died on a cross for us, but it did not end there that was only the beginning for you and me.