I love how God interacts with people! “Come now, let’s settle this,” is a very gracious and inviting manner to address a serious issue: human selfishness. A selfish life will do a number of things:
- We get dirty. Crimson red is a strong color. You would have to use a lot of bleach to turn a crimson red shirt into a white one. We all know that it’s always easier to stain a shirt than to get the stain out.
- We break up. Divorce is a nasty word; it represents brokenness. What formerly belonged together is now broken apart, and this is what happened between God and mankind. It’s a tragedy.
- We lose our roots. Besides having an actual roof over our heads, the term “home” represents so much more. Home is where our heart is. Home is where our roots are. Homelessness is devastating.
The consequences of a self-absorbed life are listed above, and we all suffer from it, one way or another. However, somehow – and only God knows how – Jesus’ capital punishment became a stand-in; representing all men who have ever lived and yet to be born, Jesus took their punishment upon Himself when He went through a torturous execution. Even though He was completely innocent and did not deserve to be executed, Jesus was not a victim. He chose to die that way. Jesus’ life and mission on earth was to create the antidote to our separation from the Trinity.
In Jesus God became flesh and blood. We could touch Him with our hands. He moved from Heaven into the neighborhood and became as involved in the mundane and ordinary life as can be – like growing a beard and cutting finger nails. He rolled up His sleeves and worked in a wood shop. The last three years of his life He abandoned his trade and traveled around the country. People were drawn to Him. He became a celebrity. Speaking publicly about the Kingdom of God, He filled these words with meaning by living out what He talked about for everyone to see. Whether He walked dusty desert highways, the streets of Jerusalem, or entered somebody’s home, everywhere He went He profoundly touched people, gave them hope, and taught them God’s values. And even though people loved and admired Jesus, He experienced firsthand how it feels to be singled out, rejected, misunderstood, ridiculed, tortured, and killed. Facing an unjust trial at the end of His life, he left an amazing legacy: the cure for sin.
God’s invitation still stands: “Come, let us settle this”, He says to you and me. What an extraordinary effort had to be made behind the scene for this almost casual-sounding invitation! Quite an understatement isn’t it? And what about God’s question – ‘let us settle this’? Isn’t it God who ultimately does all the work and cleans up our mess? And yet, He seeks our approval first; He genuinely reaches out and gently asks us if we’re up to it. So here is the Million Dollar Question: Are we willing to settle the issue that came between us and the Almighty? The answer, my friend, is not blowing in the wind. The answer is inside of us, the battleground of all battlegrounds: the human heart.
Moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake” Ladysmith Black Mambazo