There was this thing doing the rounds on the internet recently, someone’s attempt at summing up the Bible in a fun sort of internet lingo sort of way. You may have seen it, and you may have even smiled – I know I did at first. But then I thought, hang on, something’s missing…
It was all full of references to humans “doing the things” (the things we’re not supposed to do) (in other words: sinning) and God saying “guys…” and it was geeky and funny, but the thing that was conspicuous by its absence was the point where Jesus, after dying and rising from the dead, says:
There. Fixed it.
there was talk there of the future, when Jesus will come back and nobody would “do the things” any more – but what about the hope we have right now, for now and forever, the hope that Jesus died to give us? the promise, the certainty, that if we repent and turn to him then all our sins get forgiven! that yes, God knows us well and he knows we will still “do the things” (though hopefully less than before!), he knows we can’t help it and that’s why he sent Jesus to die for us.
also: it’s not really about “doing the things”. that’s not the main issue. the main issue is not the sinning that we do, the main issue is our tendency to sin, our natural inclination, which we inherited from our forefather Adam like some kind of spiritual genetic inheritance. that’s why we can’t fix it ourselves. that’s why the only solution was God himself doing it for us.
– oh, but it’s not our fault then, if we were born this way…
– well, God says it is. do you want to keep arguing with him, or do you want to be saved? seriously – it’s not your fault that you were born this way, but it is your fault that you refuse to accept God’s help.
– but if he loves me, like you keep saying, then he could fix it without all this…
– he’s God. he knows everything. do you really think he’d have gone through all that pain and anguish if there was another way?
Jesus, being fully man and fully God, went willingly to the cross, suffered excruciating pain and agony for hours, not to mention the mocking and torture beforehand – he went through all that because he knew it was utterly necessary. Read about his prayers in Gethsemane before his arrest – the anguish was huge, but he was determined to do what he came to this earth to do, to fulfil his role as the Lamb of God, the once-and-for-all atoning sacrifice for the sins of all mankind, because he knew that otherwise we’re all doomed.
I think if you showed Jesus that “bible tl;dr version” that’s doing the rounds on the internet, he’d say: guys… you’re missing the point. yes, I really want you to stop doing the things, but you can’t, so I’ve fixed it.