Yesterday’s comic strip introduced the question “Were there some things that Jesus never got around to doing?” and also the implied question “Are there really people who are just hopelessly lost? People who are just so far gone that not even Jesus could reach?”
Today, the questions are the same, only the comic strip has changed. So what do you think? Was Jesus supposed to obliterate people? Are there people who are truly hopelessly lost?
The “answer,” if we step back in time to the days of Laser Eyes Jesus, was something like an “active obliteration of the hopelessly lost.” It seems that people wanted a Warrior King who would forcibly push out the occupying foreign Romans. The Great Flood and Noah, The Plagues Of Egypt, The Battles and Wars In The Promised Land were all “active obliterations.” There also seemed to be “passive obliterations” of the poor, the sick, the crippled, the lepers…just push them aside, ignore, and neglect them until they die.
In some respects, things have not changed much since then, and yet in other respects, everything has changed tremendously! Here’s what I mean. Jesus changed everything. Before the death and resurrection of Jesus, sin and death had its grip firmly on us. Sin and death owned us.
Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. John 19:30 (NASB)
The Greek word used for “finished” is “tetelestai.” It is only used in two places in the entire New Testament, right here in verses 28 and 30. (In verse 28, “tetelestai” is translated as “completed.”) To me, that makes this particular word very important. During New Testament times “tetelestai” was used to show that a bill had been paid in full. Romans 6:6 and 6:18 remind us that we are no longer slaves to sin, bound to death. The price for our freedom has been paid.
On the Cross Of Jesus, everything in the world changed, at least from God’s perspective. It can change for us too. There is now no longer a need to “actively obliterate” people (however that might look in modern times) because freedom from sin and death has been made available to all. But I do see a need to stop the “passive obliteration” of people.
So what if Jesus accomplished all that He was to accomplish and now we have the ability to do all God has set for us to do? And chiefly perhaps to stop the “passive obliteration” of people, particularly those who would be labeled “the hopelessly lost”?
Take a look at how the Gospel of Mark ends.
And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed. Mark 16:20 (NASB)
The world has changed. The death and resurrection of Jesus caused that change. The apostles were living out that change, just as we can today.
And do you see those amazing six words? They are “while the Lord worked with them.” Yes, it was “Mission Complete” on the Cross Of Jesus, but now Jesus is still very active and working with us on a ”New Mission”. It is Real Life Jesus, I believe, who is still actively at work with us to bring the change He purchased to the entire world, especially to those incorrectly labeled “The Hopelessly Lost.”
As someone who many people might have once labeled as a member of “The Hopelessly Lost,” I am truly grateful to all who never gave up on me.