For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:10
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Luke 13:34
Picture this in your mind. You have just come through a precarious situation in which you could have caused a serious automobile accident, your heart is pounding, your legs are weak. No one was hurt when you ran that red light. You were “lucky”, because there was no authority present to give you the ticket for the punishment that would surely follow. OR, you did cause the accident, a little child was killed, the authorities were called, you are on your way to jail, heart beating, legs weak. Moments after the accident, after you pulled over to go help, as your car did not receive any damage, your heart was screaming, “get out of here, run.” But, you didn’t, you are on your way to jail.
Two different scenarios, just seconds apart from each other, one in which the other driver had time to react safely, the other in which the driver did not. In both cases you were guilty of inattentive driving. Guilty.
We all are guilty, of sin. It is an undeniable fact of life. We lie, we cheat, we steal, we commit acts against others. We are guilty.
God, on the other hand is NOT guilty. He is a victim as well. He created a perfectly running universe, there was absolutely nothing that was wrong with it. It was built with us in mind. He created a beautiful place in which he put us to live and enjoy not only Him, but the beauty surrounding us. This earth was a place he created to be inhabited. It came fully equipped to support life; the air, the food, the water. It also had and has intrinsic beauty; great waterfalls, magnificent canyons, majestic snow capped mountains, the smell of orange blossoms wafting on light currents of air. But there was so much more that was lost, relationship, and life. All Adam had to do to enjoy not only the beauty of creation is reach out, take and eat; look gaze and enjoy; think, ask and listen.
A train wreck happened. Adam with his free will, sinned. He disobeyed the ONE law that was given to him. God had a communion, relationship, with Adam before he sinned; it was close, affectionate, intimate and loving. Adam broke that relationship- Can you imagine, turning your back on the one who created all that you see, hear, feel? And in so doing, corrupted this whole universe, our universe. It began to die. Adam broke the relationship we all could have had with God. We broke his heart, for we are all Adams progeny, and we all inherited a sin nature.
Think about it, if there is a war, who gets blamed? God! “If God is so loving, why does he allow war?” If a child dies from cancer, caused because the genetic pattern was changed by some distant ancestor who received an STD from a prostitute, who gets blamed? God! “If God is so loving, why does he allow a child to die?” The truth is, God created us to desire to be like him, to be holy, yet to love. And it hurts us to see the death of a loved one, or the consequences of their actions. You see, there is a war going on, a war that not only affects this universe, ravaging it to a slow destruction, but also a war of our minds and hearts. One that causes a rift between each of us, and between us and our Father God. It has a powerful tug on us, one that causes us to say things that hurt others, and in turn hurts ourselves.
We are a terribly sinful people. We tell secrets to hurt others, we take the last piece of chocolate so someone else can’t have it, because we want it. We strive ahead, sometimes stepping on others to get ahead. We cause wars. We are inherently selfish in nature. When that goes unchecked, we get cities full of drug dealers, prostitutes, murderers, thieves, child molesters….
When Jesus looked out over the city of Jerusalem, he saw all that stuff. He saw the sin of adultery and murder it’s most famous and beloved King had committed. He saw the murder of the prophets that were sent to warn it’s inhabitants of the coming judgment. He saw…….and looked on it with compassion and love, yet they rejected him and his message of a new way. Just as we do.
God loves you, he wants you to know that. He wants to forgive you, to make you clean. That baggage you are carrying, that thing you did that you toil over in your mind at night as you lay by your husband knowing you had made an oath to forsake all others. That boy you hit for no reason in junior high. The time you cursed your dad, and as you walked away you heard him cry. The time you told your mom you hate her, and then a week later she was diagnosed with cancer, or worse yet, she was killed. All that pain that ravages at your mind; God wants to heal. He loves you.
He LOVES YOU, HE LOVES YOU, He loves YOU!
“Confession is good for the soul” the saying goes. It not only gets it off your chest, it allows you to tell some trusted friend so they can share your burden with you, so some healing can begin, however it does not go deep enough. God CAN heal it completely! He wants you to confess, not only so you can get it off your chest, but, so that he can forgive you, and you can finally begin to forgive yourself. You see, when you did those things, you not only hurt that person, you hurt yourself, and you hurt your God. Confessing your sins to him allows him to come in and heal the results of that sin. BUT he requires something else as well, repentance. There are sins that affect others that we need and should go to them about, we wronged them, and they deserve our confession to them. Some will take it badly, but if we had not done the act, they would have no reason to react. These are hard realities, but required. But no matter how they react, God forgives, he heals, and he forgets. Isn’t that how we want all our relationships to be. Isn’t that what we want from those who hurt us? He also requires us to do the same as he does. To forgive, heal and forget.
God demonstrates his love for us in this way, he sent his son to die in our place. He sent his innocent child, who tried to steer us in the right direction, to die for us who rejected his ways. He knew we could not make it on our own, and he knew that something had to die, to have blood shed, in order to exact a penalty payment, and he was willing to do that himself. Because of love.
Remember what happened in Dickens’s Tale of Two Cities? Sydney Carton loved Lucie Manette enough to sacrifice himself by changing places with her husband, who was sentenced to death. That was an act of great sacrifice and love, for through his death, she would be happily rejoined to her husband, whom she loved very deeply. God did the same for us: Jesus sacrificed himself for us while we were yet in our sinful condition, to give us a new life and relationship with the Father we rejected. He was willing to do that with the great love which he loves us with. There is no greater love that anyone show another than to sacrifice themselves in that other persons place. A father would do anything to keep his kids safe. Because of love.
God loves you so much, he did the work of restoration, even though it is us who rejected him, still…..
If you are hurting, and would like to talk about it, and about God’s forgiveness and restoration, please click on the comment link at the top of this page. I am not a trained professional, but I will pray for you, and will talk with you about it if you need to.