As you may remember, last time we addressed the question, “What is our hope for the future?” We conclude this series with the logical follow-up: what is our security now to get us that better future? Said another way, last time was about eternal paradise. Today is about the impossible journey here. I’ll say more about how impossibility relates to real security below. For now, it may help to reflect on the plot of almost any big movie. Let’s see if I can read your mind and describe the basic story.
First, there’s a cast of characters, and some care deeply about others. But some clearly do not. Second, it soon becomes apparent that they have a major problem that seems impossible to solve. Third, an unlikely hero steps up to bridge the gap or tear down the obstacle but only at great risk to self. Lastly, the future of the loveable characters is now more secure due to the hero’s sacrifice.
Was I close? If so, that’s because (being created in God’s image) we innately know the destination of real love is only secured by the journey of self-sacrifice. But the script of Life has a few major edits. The problems on film are usually physical and can be solved or lessened by physical means. God’s Word tells us that our deeper problem is spiritual: more than anyone or anything else, we care about self, other people, stuff, power, etc. Yet, only God who is perfect deserves our ultimate affection and loyalty. None of us can be heroes for a real solution because we’re part of the problem. (John 6:63)
But God knows our impossibility, because two of the sub-plots are His justice and grace. None of us can meet His just standards of love because even one of our lesser loves is unfaithfulness to the only One who deserves our full devotion. Even worse, our broken nature of self-focus makes it humanly
impossible for us to rest in His grace. Our fear sends us running, or our pride prompts our balking. But God also knows that our lesser loves work against us, so He sent His Son. (Matthew 19:16-26)
Jesus is the most unlikely hero but in different ways than Hollywood often puts forth. Prophecies about Jesus described Him as unattractive and rejected (Isaiah 52:14 and 53:3). In fact, His act of self-sacrifice did not immediately result in praise but in scorn by His enemies and depression by His people (all of John 18 and 19). And, maybe most strangely, He never claimed or even tried to rescue them from all of their difficult circumstances (Matthew 10:5-39) but rather promised Himself and their ultimate reward. (Matthew 10:40-42) That doesn’t sound like the typically humble hero of Hollywood.
No, Jesus is infinitely better. How? Because He is fully God and fully man in the flesh, He is our better future and our security on the way. Consider two basic points. Genesis 1 and 2 reveal that God created us as a spirit in a body for relationships with Him and each other, so we know that He cares and has power to help our body and soul. And Genesis 3 hints that His plan is still a physical, spiritual, and relational paradise that only Jesus can secure. Check out the video for more details.
As you prepare to watch the video, remember two reasons God came in the flesh.
God the Father, Son, and Spirit care about our body, spirit, and relationships.
And God’s perfect justice and perfect grace could only be secured in Jesus Christ
You can see other articles and the embedded videos in this series here.