Posted by Rod Neufeld on April 21, 2017
One morning at church I was previewing some videos I was going to play during our Easter/Resurrection Sunday breakfast. There was one video that used footage from the movie The Passion of the Christ. It was part of the scene where Christ was being whipped by soldiers. The graphic part was about 30 seconds of a 4 minute video. It was intense and I understand that it was not breakfast viewing media so I removed it from the play list after viewing the whole thing.
What happened got me thinking. We have a habit of wanting to pick and choose what we take from scripture and what we leave behind. I get it, there is a bunch of ugliness in the Bible. There is ugliness outside our front door, too. I am seeing more and more in the church in North America the trend of softening and washing the Gospel Message. We see a lot of re-writes when it comes to scripture and messages from the pulpit.
Not so long ago a major denomination petitioned to have a hymn changed significantly. They wanted the line of In Christ Alone that said, “the wrath of God was satisfied” to be changed to something to the effect of, “the love of God was amplified,” which would not make sense. The change would both confuse the Gospel message and water it down. You see, if we don’t recognize that there is wrath to be satisfied, then Christ on the cross would be pointless.
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:5-6 NKJV
The Bible is not a buffet from which we can pick and choose what we like and leave the rest. You see, my sins were nailed to the cross over 2000 years before I committed them. They were placed on Christ’s shoulders along with everyone else’s sins. Jesus came for the purpose of being crucified for our transgressions and sin. He came to make a way for us to be reconciled with God the Father. The issue many have is that it’s not all about fluffy love and such. It has to do with Wrath. Jesus was paying the price we all owe for every sin ever committed and ever will be committed.
There are a lot of things in the Bible that are hard to read and even harder to accept at times. That doesn’t mean we can disregard those things because they cause us some discomfort. You see, at this “buffet” you
can’t just have your favourites. You have to take the Brussels sprouts and lime jello too.
As I mentioned earlier we like to take the things that appeal to us and leave the rest. That, my friends, puts us in the position of God. I don’t know about any of you but I’m in no position for that throne.
Our idea of fair and just usually misses the mark in comparison to God’s idea of fair and just. I may not be overly happy with His decisions, but, according to His word, all things work together for good. I may not like something but I’m looking at the small picture.
For example: The sin of Adam is upon all of us born after him. Human standards say that’s not fair….. right?
Another example: Jesus dies on the cross that all may have forgiveness and salvation simply by asking. Well that’s not really fair either is it. After all we don’t deserve it…..right?
Big picture: Adam messed up everything, God provided the solution. If we live in small snippets and singular truths we miss the big picture.
We keep hearing God’s got a plan. A plan involves more than just one step.
Remember one very simple truth from the book of Isaiah: ““For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV
If we only take one thing from those verses, let it be to seek His ways above our own. What better way to do that then reading His Book. All of it!