Monday, 19 December 2011

I think we missed it

It’s been a while since I have been able to write anything here. Work was really busy this here and I just didn’t have the time to get here. But I am off and enjoying 2 weeks of rest at the moment and finally get a chance to write about something here again. So here is a little story…
One day a man was wronged by some of his friends. The man became deeply angry but cared about his friends and didn’t want to get back at them. But been a just man he had a dilemma, so he went home and started mercilessly beating his son who was completely innocent in this story instead. He never stopped until he had killed his son in the most brutal of ways. Once he had worked out his anger issues he felt much better and was able to forgive his friends and their relationship was restored.
Silly story I know but isn’t this how most Christians understand the gospel? Since we were kids, like a mantra,  we have heard how God the Father poured His wrath out on His son because of our sins. The weirdest thing of all is that we reason that it’s because he is a just God that he had to punish the innocent lamb? I can’t help but think that this doctrine has less in common with the bible than with the pagan cultures of old who would sacrifice their firstborn children so that their gods would forgive their sins. And to top it all off WE are now considered sons and daughters of God as well! If that’s how he treated His firstborn, why are we so excited?
Although it’s correct that there is a day where the Lords wrath will be poured out on the wicked, that day was not the day of the cross but prophesied for a future time when all things will be set right by him. The cross dealt with many things, but an abusive and misguided Fathers revenge is not one of them, consider the following.
Heb 2:14 …that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil.
2 Cor 5:21 He has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.  
Rom 8:3-4 …God sent his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
I would encourage you to read Isaiah 50, 51 and 52 before reading chapter 53 as well. Once you get a better picture of the story you can see that the cross was God’s work in reconciling man to himself, it was cure, not punishment. Jesus did not die to appease the Father, but to defeat the forces of evil, sin and even death itself. Did it please the Lord to bruise him? Or did the plan of redemption please Him? “The chastisement of peace was upon him, and with his stripes, we are healed” Our God is not like the God of the pagans who threw their own kids into volcanoes or onto fiery altars, he is the loving Father to the prodigal.