Sunday, April 5, 2015

For a long time we were in the dark. We continued to run from our Father, ever since the falling. That day that we decided not to trust Him and to go our own way, even though He gave us every reason to follow His. We were children, disobeying the parameters meant to keep us from harm and heartbreak. We decided we knew better than the One who made it all, the One who always was, and always will be. We committed treason against our King and Creator. Then started the running.

We continued to move away, not entirely certain why we were doing it. Maybe at first it was out of guilt or shame for the things we had done. Then perhaps that guilt turned to bitterness and anger toward our Father, whom we let down, whom we betrayed. "Who was He to make the rules"? "Who was He to tell us what to do"?

The further we ran the more we became about ourselves. We put high the things we wanted and put low the One we needed. We made much of ourselves and declared that we were our own gods. That we had control over the world we did nothing to create. We took what we wanted, then murdered to keep it. We built ourselves up, made much of our own, and with bitter obstinacy shook fists at the sky.

We grew farther from Him still. We continued to build our debt of wickedness. We chose to be greedy and vain. We murdered brothers and sisters over pieces of ground and bits of metal. We made war on nations and drank the blood of our enemies. In our eyes we were great despite the darkness we burned on our souls. We decided that we deserved to be gods. We deserved to kill, and steal, and rape freely, without punishment. We deserved no consequences, because in our eyes we diluted what was wrong and fooled into thinking it was right. We truly and hopelessly lost. But, too foolish to realize it.

From the beginning of our rebellion, God stayed his hand. He warned that our disobedience would lead to death. The firsts of His mercies were that death did not strike us the moment we turned from Him. He could have wiped the slate clean and started over. He could have eradicated us from time in that moment. He chose not to. A Father's love for His children kept us from receiving the punishment we deserved.

Judgment of the guilty was withheld. Stayed for a time. Despite the debt of sin we continued to accrue. Each wicked choice we made built stronger the wall between us and the Father who loved us. And yet, he remained patient. Working the terrible things against Him and each other into good. Even in our attempts to sabotage, His plan remained perfect. His rescue mission was secure.

God knew that the things we had done separated us from Him forever. There was no turning back; there was no ritual that we could do to make ourselves and our home whole again. We tried, so many times. We tried to fix the gap ourselves. When we could not do it, we created false gods in hopes that they could. Some of us were too ashamed, or too stubborn to ask our Father for help, some of us forgot he was there at all. Even then, He was working for us. He was establishing the time and place to fix this brokenness.

Because there was no way we could every pay our debts. Because there was no way we could fix ourselves, fill our holes, He came to do it. He made Himself into the flesh of man. He lowered Himself to come to us. Because He, Jesus was God he lived a perfect human life. He had no sin or wickedness in Him. His soul did not have the black stains that we all contained. He grew and lived amongst us. He dwelled, ate, slept, taught, and performed miracles that only God could with us.

Because He was God and because He was perfect He was able to fix our broken world. He was able to rescue us from the pit of sin we cast ourselves in. We captured Him almost to the point of death. We spat on and mocked Him. A great fever of wickedness and sin overcame us. And even then, our Father was working it into good. On a hill we executed the man named Jesus. We nailed His flesh and bones to a tree and left Him there to die. We watched as His last breaths poured out of Him. Unknowingly fulfilling the plan of our Father to rescue us, to make us whole again.

We did not know it then but in that movement, the debt we made, the crimes we committed were pardoned. The wrath that we so justly deserved from the beginning was poured out from God onto God so that all that we destroyed could be fixed again. Every sin we ever committed or will commit was and is forgiven. Our debts wiped clean. The separation between us and our Father destroyed.

This reunion was made complete three days later. Jesus, who was dead, breathed in life again. He stayed among us, spending forty more days on this earth. Then in front of many of us ascended back into heaven, taking His rightful place in His kingdom.

This is the good news, this is the Gospel. All the brokenness and hurt in us can be made new. We can be made whole. Creation cries out for renewal. We wait patiently for Jesus to return and finish His restoration of the earth. There will come a day where all the darkness we have in us will be gone forever. Death will be no more. Things will go back to the perfection of its original state. Eternity spent in glory of our loving Father.

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