In this session, we very briefly hint at what God has done about evil and sin, with lots more explanation to come next time.
Still ask – why doesn’t God do SOMETHING?
Imagine if you were in Paris on Tuesday, June 7th 1944.
Instead of the great worldclass city, you’d look around and see terrible things – people starving, oppressed by the Nazis.
You stop someone on the street, and ask what’s wrong. They say, “You have to understand that this is not the way it usually is, or the way we want it to be! There is a war, enemy soldiers have occupied our country. Don’t judge by what you see today. We are all hoping and believing that the day will come when we are set free, and this country is restored. We know this will happen – the Allies have landed at Normandy, and are on their way here. Although the Nazis are still here perpetrating their evil, we know they’ve lost the war, and in only a matter of time they will be gone completely.
This is what God has done through Jesus 2000 years ago.
He’s won the decisive battle against evil – its power is broken, it knows its time is limited, because D-Day has already happened.
Talk more about that in future weeks – how God has done something about evil far greater than we ever imagined, and how that victory is one that we can share.
But before we finish, I want to acknowledge this can be a tough week – we face part of ourselves that we would often rather ignore.
But deep inside, I think we all know it’s true, and that’s why it terrifies us so much.
I don’t have a lot of fun this week either – I remember when I was training to be a paramedic, I was in the back of an ambulance with the most senior paramedic in the city of Kingston. We were actively treating a man with a heart attack, things were moving fast. Then the patient asked a simple question – “Am I having a heart attack?” Everything stopped. I looked at the medic, he looked back at me, and then said to the patient – “Yes”.
It was such an amazing moment. The medic didn’t tell the patient this because he was in perfect health, and wanted to stick it to this guy. Nor did he tell the patient because he liked it. He told him because it was true, and because he and the other medical professionals could help him, if he understood the gravity of the situation.
In the same way, I don’t tell you about sin because I take joy in it, or because I’m better than you and want to prove it. The truth is, I’m sick, too! But I tell you about sin because it’s true, and so that you, and I, can get better together.
The truth about sin is the only real ground for hope in this world.
The bad news of realizing we need help, that we are not who we were created to be, and have separated ourselves from the only one who can help, is the only way we can recognize the good news when it comes.
The story of Jesus, and the new life he offers us, is really boring and useless if you are perfect and sinless. But if you’re like me – someone far from perfect, and far from sinless, then the story about Jesus makes all the sense in the world, and all the difference to real people.
Next two weeks – we look at the great news for which being a sinner is a prerequisite. Hang in there!
Have you ever found it hard to admit you need help? Why is it so hard? Do you react by running away, fighting hard, getting depressed or by defending yourself?
Read John 7-8 and reflect – How does Jesus deal with the woman in Chapter 8 whose faults are on public display?