“Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when were God’s enemies we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Romans 5:9-11 New International Version
If there is one thing I really can’t stand it’s having my wife be angry with me. Unfortunately, there have been times when I seemed unable to avoid incurring her displeasure, and most often by my spectacular ability to forget what I was supposed to remember! This used to be quite a problem in the days when we would have vigorous discussions concerning a multitude of topics. Inevitably would come the impasse and a much needed break in the proceedings, at least on the part of one of the participants. On the part of the other was the desire to carry on to completion what had been started. However, this wasn’t conducive to harmonious negotiations, or so I was informed!
So a timeout was deemed the best possible option. How long it would last was purely based on the preference of the party calling forth the respite (which was the other one who wasn’t me). The fated outcome to this strategy was I would forget what we had been so vigorously discussing! This, of course, meant not only was there the original issue to work through, but the additional infraction of having forgotten the original dispute, adding still more frustration to the mix. All to say that for someone who didn’t like having his wife upset with him, I sure did magnify the issue more times than not!
Why is it we become so good at appropriating the anger of those we love, or find ourselves so angry with our loved ones? I suppose the answer is sitting right here with me. If I am to be completely honest, I tend to take these loved ones for granted rather than treat them as the precious gifts from God I know them to be. An additional factor is that in our humanity we still have a healthy dose of self-centeredness operating within the confines of our hearts and minds. This is one reason God’s Grace is so important in the lives of Christians as we are seeking to become all He desires for us and others. For in this world we are intrinsically connected to each other in our Grace process.
It is also one reason why Jesus was praying for the unity we need to have as a witnesses for the world! Not uniformity, too many have confused unity, the willingness to accept the integral connection of all believers to their Creator while still exercising individual intimate relationship with the Creator, for a confused notion that all believers are some form of cookie cutter “Dough Boy” (my thanks to the Pillsbury ads)! This couldn’t be further from the truth!
Truth is found in Jesus Christ, given to Him by the Father. Diversity in unity, seeking one common goal, taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to a dying world, knowing it makes all the difference in the world! A difference which can only be experienced by and through and in a relationship with the Creator. And all of this has been made possible by the Son, who counted it loss to become the greatest miracle this world has ever seen or will see, all for you and me!
Many become confused by the wording of the text, so let’s see if we can come to some sort of understanding. First off, we are now natural enemies of God, not through anything we have contemplated, thought through, decided we needed to do or become. It’s our legacy from the Garden of Eden where at one time our original parents were living life to the fullest—until they were convinced they were not! All it took was a snake in a tree (similar to a snake in the grass) and next thing you know Adam and Eve are hurling accusations against God and each other! So much for life in paradise and being naturally related to God as it was originally planned.
Therefore, through the deception of one serpent came rebellion, death, sin, the wrath of God against that which cannot exist in the presence of Holiness! Our self-centered God Complex which believes the created has somehow a right to become the creator serves only to separate the created from the Life Giver, God the Creator! God chose to rescue humanity from this self imposed execution by becoming a man Himself, living the life man was to live, then dying the death that is man’s alone, and being resurrected for humanity thus completing the circle of salvation! All of which brings reconciliation between mankind and their Creator! This is what brings about celebration in heaven; the reconciliation of just one sends all of heaven rejoicing!
Not only do we rejoice for the one lost that is now found, we rejoice that all have been reconciled to their Creator! It is so plainly written that through Jesus Christ we have now experienced salvation, renewal, the forgiveness of sins. Not only do we have all this, we now also have the joy of being in the Father through Jesus Christ and the reconciliation that comes from His life. So what does this mean in practical terms, how does this make a difference in the way I relate to all God sends into my sphere of influence? Our relationship with God and all He brings into our lives are diamonds full of promise, promises that make our lives different then we could ever have imagined them. And even when we feel we have failed on every possible level, we know we are never left alone! God never leaves us and He makes sure to send to us those who will carry us through no matter the circumstances.
This is what makes Christianity different from any other belief system in the world. God, the One who loves so much He died, the One who loves so much He lives the resurrected life for us, the One who loves so much He continues to give, the One who loves so much He gives grace that transforms, the One who loves so much He remains involved every moment of every day. He never leaves or forsakes any one of us no matter where our heart and head might be at any given moment!
So why is it so difficult to tell others about the One Who Loves with all He has to give? Maybe it’s because we’ve been trying to tell others about the wrong things. Could it be time to introduce them to the One who knows everything about us and still loves us with an everlasting love? Take a moment and consider what He’s done, what He’s doing, and what He’s promised to do for you!
“Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed! All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the guilt and sins of us all.” Isaiah 53:4-6 New Living Testament