God’s declaration to us is of perfect love, that our prospective spiritual death can be averted. The Cross; this word is shorthand for the death of Jesus on the cross at Golgotha where he died to redeem us from our sins. The Cross shows Gods love has no boundaries and is for real. God has made his offer of‘New life’ in Jesus. He cannot improve the offer he is making, it’s completeness, and wholeness is inherent in the offer. There is nothing to add, there is no circuitous routes, no deviations, no back door, no expectation that a wilting of mind or spirit can change, this is Gods complete package.
Can this be real? Is it too obvious? There must be a catch! Can we say that ‘nothing’ is as complete as the offer extended by the love of God to me and you. Any attempt to change the offer, to make it fit individual requirements, dilutes and negates the perfection of God’s love. We cannot shape his love to our own needs. We are not God. Only capitulation to him, to the completeness of his love provides clarity and understanding of his gift as it unfolds in our expressed being.
This can mean we are faced with difficulties and challenges. Challenges that are personal, challenges that require answers before we can move forward in our understanding of our personal relationship with God, and of anything Gods love demands of us. We may be faced with the stark reality that those things we hold true, our personal values, our relationships, our beliefs are no longer fitting our new understanding. We are required to change, to turn around and face in a new direction, to look the same way as God. The road is narrow and few go along it, but broad is the way to destruction.
We are asked to consider a response to the statement, ‘You must be born again’. But what are we being born into, what are we being saved into? When Jesus posed this question to the man he called, the Teacher of Israel, the teacher could not answer. It causes confusion, sows seeds of doubt; the implicit nature of the question raised in the statement seems absurd. The Teacher of Israel was confused and he acknowledged his confusion. He was the head of the religious body that held dear the teachings of Israel. Yet the simplicity of Jesus statement seemingly did not draw him closer.
And yet within what was being said was the foundational love of God for all mankind.
Not the God of mankind’s making, no, but of the great ‘I Am’. One who says ‘you shall have no other God’s before me’.
In our sophisticated world we are, it seems, fully able to control so much of our own destiny. We have at our fingertips the ability to draw down all the resources and information the world currently has to hand. Are there still some things that can make us stop and think? Imagine access to as many things as you want, unconditionally, it’s all there for you. If it breaks we will replace it, wears out, don’t worry we will give you a new one. What about free medical care whenever and for ever? Internet, it’s yours. Free diesel and petrol would be nice, an electric car – no problem…
Just sign here…
God’s offer is not quite like this. His offer is free but carries conditions. Turn and face the way God faces. No sneaky side moves to try and make the offer better! It doesn’t work.
Maybe that is why Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”
He also said, “I have come to bring life and life in all it abundance.”
Image Credit: Ian Chen