Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Penalty

God sees how the world is.

God: I made them with the ability to choose to do good or evil, and they chose to do evil...

God looks off into the distance with a disappointed look on His face.

God: Being perfectly just, I cannot ignore their blatant evilness.

God: In my infinite wisdom, I know the only suitable punishment is death. Justice must be served.

God looks sternly ahead with a clenched fist.

God: But...

God's expression becomes troubled.

God: How can I give them death? I LOVE them. The penalty must be paid. But how can their penalty be paid when the cost is so high?

God hangs His head and a single tear falls. He then raises His head and looks ahead with conviction through tears.

God: *I* will pay the penalty.

And so Jesus was born into this world, to do something for us, something big, something we couldn't do ourselves... Jesus wiped the slate clean.

Satan sees how the world is.

Satan: Haha! All these people are sinners! Not a single one is good! They'll all be thrown into the unquenchable fire!

God: You're wrong, Satan. They're square with the house. Their penalty has been paid in full.
Father and Son, Spirit and Human. Jesus died for us, and it's not just a short bout of pain and suffering to be compared with eons of the comforts of heavenly realms. God is eternal. He's outside of time. Everything He's ever done is part of Him every "instant" for eternity. From God's perspective, Jesus is on the cross forever for us. To speak metaphorically using the concept of time, Jesus' physical pain and suffering and God's heartache of seeing His innocent son crucified are such a vivid "memory" to God, it's as if the crucifixion is happening right now. He made this a part of Himself forever for us even though He knew even the "best" of us would often spit in His face and say, "I don't need your ways. I don't need your love. I can take care of myself."

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Faithful Couple

I recently read the account of a family that was on vacation years ago in Yosemite National Park. They were fascinated and awed by the magnificent redwood trees. God’s creative hand and majestic beauty was breathtaking. As they walked among the forest giants, they came to what appeared to be a huge redwood tree about forty feet in diameter. The sign at the base of the tree read, "The Faithful Couple." But they were puzzled because it appeared as though this was a single tree, not a “Couple of Trees.”
As the family was enjoying their vacation time throughout the week, they encountered a park ranger and they asked about “The Faithful Couple.” He went on to explain that almost fifteen hundred years ago, two trees had sprouted as seedlings. The two trees that began on the forest ground were approximately fifteen feet apart initially. And for several hundred years, the two trees had grown individually. But as the years passed and the trees got larger, their trunks grew closer and closer together. Then sometime around the age of eight hundred years, the trunks literally touched, and the trees began fusing together as one. The trees uniting together as one have withstood the centuries—thereby giving them the title of “The Faithful Couple.”