No other way?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If God is a reasonable God, why would he require such drastic measures to keep us in line? A little love here and there and he’s happy. . .right?

My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.

Six years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. As with most people faced with that diagnoses, my first question was, will I make it? What followed were weeks of tests, followed by weeks of chemotherapy, followed by more tests, followed by more chemotherapy, followed by what seemed like a lifetime of radiation treatments. That process took nearly six months. I had been scheduled for major surgery months prior and the date was approaching. After I was assured by those familiar with the disease that things were going well, based on more tests, I asked the next logical question: If the tests had shown, as they did, that the cancer had been eliminated altogether, what was the purpose of major surgery? I had done the research over the course of the six months and knew graphically what the procedure would be like. I knew that recovery would be extensive and my life would be radically changed despite being cancer free. Taking my concerns to the surgeon in charge, I met him for a pre-surgical meeting. I laid out my concerns in what I thought was a very logical and pragmatic way. He listened politely and then nodded his head. Your type of cancer, he said, is aggressive and dangerous. It requires major surgery not just treatment. Who was I to argue with the man. I had the cancer but he had the knife and hundreds of operation like mine under his belt. I submitted as there seemed no other way.

I believe we deal similarly with many of life’s problems. Applying our own logic to difficult issues in an effort to find another way as best we can, we even do it with our religion. God is a reasonable God. A little love here and there and he’s happy? One problem. This is a one-sided match and God is no match for us.

Oswald Chambers wrote. “Very few of us have any understanding of the reason why Jesus Christ died. If sympathy is all that human beings need, then the Cross of Christ is an absurdity and there is absolutely no need for it. What the world needs is not ‘a little bit of love,’ but major surgery… The calling of a New Testament worker is to expose sin and to reveal Jesus Christ as Savior. Consequently, he cannot always be charming and friendly, but must be willing to be stern to accomplish major surgery. We are sent by God to lift up Jesus Christ, not to give wonderfully beautiful speeches. We must be willing to examine others as deeply as God has examined us.” (My Utmost For His Highest, December 20)

The Apostle John wrote in John 12:32. “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” It took a crucifixion of God’s own Son to make things right with us. The most disgusting and painful of deaths was required. All creation was changed for eternity, and nothing would ever be the same again. Many could have and still do rationalize that “all we need is love.” God, however, required more than this. The price was a death penalty. I am cancer free today, I believe, because the surgeon and doctors involved required that the cancer be destroyed with a major surgical attack, not just with strategic measures. God certainly loves you and me, but he hates sin. Major surgery was required. Christ died to destroy sin, not because God felt bad about our sinful condition. He’s the surgeon and we had the cancer. Christ submitted. There was no other way.

We pray. Thank you Lord for dealing with sin in the roughest manner possible. Because you won’t tolerate it, we need never live with it. Forgive us Lord when we try to apply our own logic to the spiritual battles in life, especially when we tell ourselves that you will tolerate this sin but not that one, so we’re Ok. Yes, the world needs love, but it requires your perfection. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen!

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

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God bless you for Jesus sake.

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