The images used in this graphic page contrast two different worlds, yet whatever the Gospel is, it must have a message for both worlds.
You may like to read posts and articles where the author says, “Here is some new knowledge for you. This is the way things are.” This is not going to be one of those. It is just going to be mostly some “What if” statements as my way of thinking through some things. (You may have already figured these things out. I’m still working on them.)
What if we don’t look at the Cross of Christ as a “keeping law and order” kind of legal transaction?
I ask this because I’m thinking that whatever the Gospel is…it just can’t tell a hurting child, “You have made God hate you, and God is going to make you pay for what you’ve done. Too bad you’re not like other children that God loves. You just wait.”
What if we stop thinking like this? “When you sin, God gets angry, the gun of execution is loaded and cocked. Somebody has got to die. It’s either going to be Jesus or you.”
I ask this because I’m thinking whatever the Gospel is…it just can’t tell a hurting child, “It’s a good thing that God had Jesus killed so that He can change His mind about you. It was either going to be Jesus or you.”
What if we start thinking like this? “God the Father never stopped loving humanity. Nor did He need to separate from, turn His back on, and kill God the Son to start loving humanity again.”
What if we stopped thinking of baptism as “an initiation ritual” and started living it out as “a spiritual reality”?
That truly seems to have been Paul’s perspective.
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20 (NASB)
Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4 (NASB)
What if in God the Father’s eyes, He saw Jesus and you and me altogether on the Cross? What if in God the Father’s eyes, He saw Jesus and you and me altogether leaving the tomb? How do we live that out right here and now?
What if the good we now do is because we really have a new life in Christ rather than a guilty obligation? (It’s an obligation we feel because Jesus “took the bullets with our names on them”?)
What if after we say “Somebody has got to die,” we don’t say “It’s either going to be Jesus OR us”? What if instead we say “It’s ALREADY BEEN Jesus AND us”? How do we live that out right here and now?