Christian, Society

Were You There When They Crucified my Lord?

2000 years ago today, a Jewish man was set to be executed by the Roman authorities. The crowds gathered around him chanting, “crucify, crucify him!” As The roman soldiers led him to his cross. On this day in history, we celebrate Good Friday, but it’s the day we remember the obscene, brutal death of our Savior. So why call it “Good” Friday? It’s a Good Friday because of the many deaths that occurred that day. Let’s look at a few briefly:

The Death of Christ

First, the obvious, Jesus Christ was put to death. Now this is only a good thing if we understand a little bit about the purpose behind this ghastly crucifixion. You see, Christ did not just suffer the wrath of the Jewish religious leaders, and he was not just suffering the wrath of the Roman Government. Christ was suffering the full wrath of Almighty God upon that cross. Ever since the original sin of Adam and Eve, mankind has been storing up wrath against ourselves for every sin we commit. We come to understand this better when we realize that sin isn’t just a little blemish in our nature, but sin is, as R.C. Sprouls says, “cosmic treason” to the utmost degree. Sin is us saying to the Infinite, Holy Creator that we don’t need or want him because we know better. Sin is a massive debt that all mankind has incurred that we could never dream of paying off. In steps Jesus, the God-man, perfectly sinless and prepared to take on our debts by being the spotless sacrifice that God requires. Jesus dying means that the believer no longer stands condemned; our debt has been paid. God now counts us not only as innocent, but he also vicariously applies the righteousness of Christ to our life in order that we might be “Sons of Righteousness”. So we see that Christ’s death was substitutionary; he died in our place.

The Death of the Believer

The second death that we observe is the death of the believer. Paul exclaims with the utmost praise, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal 2:20). Paul was saying here that as one who has been born again we died along with Christ. His cross was our cross as well. We have been united with him in death. This means that our old sin-drenched man was crucified along with Jesus 2000 years ago. Therefore the believer is no longer, “enslaved to sin”. Hallelujah, what a Savior! Sin no longer has dominion over the one who has been radically transformed by the grace of God! Through this we see that Christ’s death was vicarious; his death is applied to us.

The Death of Death

The last death that we see is the death of death in the death of Christ. On the cross, Christ destroyed the dominion of death. By tasting death for the believer, he freed us from death’s bondage, removed the fear of eternal death, and ensured us that death is now just a doorway to lead us into our faithful lover’s arms. We can exclaim with great praise, “O Death, where is your sting? You have been defeated by the one true God, you have no control over us, just as you had no control over our Elder Brother, Christ!” Praises to the lamb who suffered and died for us! Christ’s death was victorious; by his death we are more than conquerors.

Good Friday, Indeed

These three deaths that occurred on this day, truly make today a Good Friday, but only for the redeemed. Only those in Christ share in his victory. The question we have to ask one another today echoes in the great negro spiritual, “were you there when they crucified my Lord?” Were you there, reader? Have you been united with him in death and in life? I pray that you share in the victory with me today.

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Christian, Movie, Society, Uncategorized

Noah?

Darren Aronofsky’s Noah seems to be the next big event that has Evangelical Christians parting quicker than the Red Sea.  Christian blog FINALLY have something to write about.  Should we go?  Should we boycott it?  Should we storm the gates of Hollywood Bibles in hand, ready to protest in the streets?  Before we start sharpening our pitchforks, here are a few quick things to consider.

1. Hollywood is not a Christian entity.  Hollywood is not Christian, nor do they claim to be.  What did we expect?  The Bible tells us that spiritual things are foolishness to those of the flesh (1 Corinthians 2:14).  Hollywood didn’t promise us an exegetically correct film that stands for Christian values.  So let’s not act surprised here.  If we get upset at the LGBT organization for acted “shocked” that evangelical Christian organizations support the biblical view marriage, then we can’t respond the same way when a non-Christian organization isn’t as biblical as we want.

2. The Story of Noah isn’t as “picture perfect” as we’ve made it.  Go to any church nursery in the South and what do you see?  A depiction of the story of Noah, complete with smiling animals and Noah smiling from ear to ear.  Like so many stories in Genesis, we’ve made them into cutesy stories, but the reality is these were real life events involving real life people.  God the Just was judging the sinful mass of humanity for the crimes they had committed.  Noah and his family were graciously saved from this judgment.  As the rains poured down, the reality of God’s judgment probably hit Noah and his family with a force.  Their neighbors stood outside the arch condemned because of their wickedness.  This isn’t a story that is exclusively the children’s bedtime story we’ve made it.

3.  Let’s make lemonade.  When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, right?  This is the situation we find ourselves in.  Lost people are flocking to this movie based on a Biblical event that is a perfect depiction of the severity of sin, the righteousness of a Sovereign God, and the grace and mercy of that same God upon those he loves.  What makes more sense, condemning the movie or using this a springboard to present the gospel?  There is a judgment coming, Christ is our perfect Ark in which we can escape the righteous wrath of God upon our wickedness.  There is no other shelter.  No other covering.  Let’s proclaim this with a voice that drowns out the sound of other’s complaints.

4.  All things are permissible, but not all are beneficial.  This movie will not condemn you to hell, but we do have to approach any movie with discernment.  Even “Christian” movies should be approached with discernment.  For example, the movie, “Heaven is For Real” is coming out soon.  To take our views about heaven from a film based upon a four year olds experience instead of looking to the Bible is just as bad as accepting the movie of Noah as the way it really happened.  Let’s check what we’re affirming by comparing it to the Bible.  Whether or not you go see Noah or not is your prerogative and in between you and God.  However the bigger issue is whether or not we decided to be people that exhibit grace toward a lost generation or whether we just want to argue about it between ourselves some more.

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