Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Suppose you continue to raise up a great nation from this one man. You lead them to ancient Egypt where they are forced to live together for hundreds of years and become a distinct people. They grow to over a million. Yet they soon forget the miracles you did for their forefathers. At the right time you bring them out of Egypt with an incredible display of mighty miracles. In one final demonstration of your power, you show them that it is only by covering their dwelling with the blood of the most innocent of creatures (a lamb) that they can be spared judgment.

You continue to teach them a pattern. You bring deserved judgment on an evil Egyptian nation and kill the first-born child in every household. You separate your people from the influence of an evil world. You bring them through a sea with a wall of water on their right and a wall of water standing on their left to demonstrate that they are being baptised into a new life. Yet, incredibly, they immediately return to their evil ways. They build idols to other gods. They refuse to enter the land which you have provided. They are a stubborn and rebellious people. But you have a plan.

Suppose you allow your chosen people to spend 40 years wandering in the wilderness in order to teach them many lessons. You teach them that they must depend wholly on you for their sustenance and that they must come back to you each day for refilling. You teach them that they will be healed when they look upon a symbol of evil which is raised up on a wooden pole. You teach them that they must put their sins upon something other than themselves because they can never pay for their own sins. You teach them that life-giving water comes from a rock. You begin to teach them that it is only by the shedding of innocent blood that their sins can be forgiven. Each year they must bring an innocent creature - a spotless lamb - and slit its throat in a gruesome, bloody sacrifice. It makes no sense. But you are laying a pattern. Suppose you finally bring them into a special land made just for them. You delayed until the people living in that land had been given every possible opportunity to turn from their wicked ways. Then you win battle after battle for your people. You show them that you are giving this land to them. You drop walls of impregnable cities...You hurtle meteorites from space to destroy enemy armies...You stop the sun in the sky at their request...You drop giants with a single stone...You destroy entire enemy armies at the request of those who love you. Yet your people refuse to obey you. But it’s okay, you have a plan.

Suppose that time and time again you send messengers to tell your people how to behave. Yet they kill the messengers and always drift back into their evil ways. But you love this people. You tell them over and over again that you are going to send a Savior. You tell them where He will be born. You tell them, hundreds of years before it happens, the exact day when He will enter Jerusalem and declare Himself their eternal King. You tell them that He will become their eternal sacrifice so that they can end their pitiful and hopeless pursuit to work their way into your favor. You describe in minute detail over 300 specific details of what you are about to do for them. Their response is to kill the messengers who bring the promises. But you love these people. Through them you will show all people how much you love them. The time for your plan has come.


The time to complete the plan which You conceived before laying the foundation of the universe...the plan started before the first molecule was created and the first electromagnetic wave appeared... the plan laid out before the first animal was made and you breathed life, spirit, and part of yourself into these people whom You love so much...had arrived. You become a man. Permanently, for all eternity, you become human.

Suppose, at just the right time, thousands of years after history began, it was time to demonstrate to humanity what love means. You did not come to earth as an arrogant ruler... but as a humble servant to wash the feet of others. You did not arrive with fanfare and pomp ... but left the glory of heaven to become a baby born in an animal stall. Your prophets had told of this... but this was not what your people expected.

Suppose that you start your ministry to your chosen people by announcing that you are the Lamb who has come to take away the sins of the world. Surely they will understand the implication after 2000 years of teaching. You demonstrate who you are by healing sickness, restoring blindness, and allowing the lame to walk. You cast out demons which have oppressed your beloved people for millenniums. You show that you control creation by calming storms with a word and walking on water. You create wine from water and food to feed thousands. Yet they still follow you with their stomachs and not their hearts. Your prophets had told them these things would happen... but this was not what your people expected.

Suppose you spent three years patiently teaching your people how to live and who you are. You repeatedly teach them that you are the rock upon which they must build their lives. You hate the arrogant lie that Your children can earn their way into your presence. Your character is justice and justice requires payment for sin. Yet no man can pay the price. Throughout history Satan has deceived your children into believing that religion can save them. You expose the lies and hypocrisy of salvation by religious acts. You hate religion. Your harshest words are for these religious leaders. They are the ones who should know you best...but you are not whom they expected.

Suppose that the climax, which has been building since man first sinned, arrives. You pray for some other way to save mankind from his sin and restore fellowship with the Father. But there is no other way. You allow yourself to be taken. You make no defense in mock trial after mock trial because whom you represent (mankind) is guilty and deserves judgment. You allow Satan to pour his fury out upon you. You are beaten so severely that you hardly look human. You are whipped so severely that your back resembles raw hamburger. Your beard is ripped out, thorns are thrust onto your head, you are slapped, cursed, and spit upon. Nails are driven through your feet and wrists and you are left hanging on a pole to die. You could destroy the entire universe with a word, but you chose instead...to suffer. You become that symbol of sin lifted on a pole which will heal your people. But this is not what they expected.


But suppose this is not the worst. For the first time in eternity, you are separated from the Father. You actually become sin and the part of yourself left in heaven, the Father, pours out his wrath upon you. You pay the price for every sin ever committed by every person in the past, present, and future. The anguish is incomprehensible. Your innocent blood is shed for the sins of humanity. You are the innocent lamb sacrificed for others. You die for them. It is not what they expected ... they do not understand.

Suppose that three days later you rise from the dead to show that...at long last, they can have victory over death. Death has lost its sting. You have shown that there is nothing they can do to bridge the chasm between themselves and their Maker...you have done it all. But it is not free. They must love you more than their wickedness. You have shown them that there is no other way. There is no religious system, or set of rules which will allow them to earn their way to heaven. They have been trying to do this since they first sinned. They have been trying to cover their sins with fig leaves from the very start. You showed them that innocent blood...your blood would be required. But is was not what they expected.

The plan was finally complete. The path back to you is open to all who are willing to accept it. You have done everything you could possibly do to restore fellowship between sinful man and yourself. You have satisfied the perfect justice required of your nature. You took the penalty which they deserved. You have shown absolute mercy by providing a bridge over the chasm between sinful man and a perfect God. You have made it so simple that anyone can understand it. You have done it all. But it was not what they expected.

Suppose that this is history. It is Christianity. It is reality.

Will you accept His love?

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