I have been reading a devotional of collected works of C.S. Lewis.
He was a brilliant person and sometimes I have to read and reread what he wrote several times before I understand what he means.
He makes me think. Most of the time he brings very complex ideas into focus so that the subject can be understood by common folks like me. Like looking through a telescope or a microscope, he brings hard to see things into view, and explains them in ways that make sense.
This morning the devotional was from a portion of “Mere Christianity”. He talks about the sin condition, why its here and where it came from.
“The moment you have a self at all, there is a possibility of putting yourself first-wanting to be the center-wanting to be God, in fact. That was the sin of Satan: and that was the sin he taught the human race. Some people think the fall of man had something to do with sex, but that is a mistake. (The story in the book of Genesis rather suggests that some corruption in our sexual nature followed the fall and was its result, not its cause.) What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could ‘be like gods’- could set up on their own as if they created themselves- be their own masters- invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history-money, poverty, ambition, war prostitution, classes, empires, slavery- the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy. ” C. S. Lewis “Mere Christianity”
Some of us have a humble smugness, seeing the depravity of some and assuming God grades on a curve, we deem ourselves “pretty good”, assuming that the most evil among us pushes the meek and moral yet irreligious further forward. Like a recent test I took, I scored an 80% and passed. I didn’t have to be perfect. We need to realize that God does not grade us on a curve, he does not compare our “pretty good” behavior to the most vile and evil and sigh and wave us on in to eternity, while sadly shaking his head and muttering, “well at least he’s better than that guy…”. Thinking like this is made up non-sense. We tend to take our week and wimpy ideas about our own “goodness” and paint God with that same brush of wishy-washy standards, thinking he is scoring us, keeping track of the good stuff and winking at the not so good stuff.
We are broken. We are all, each and every one of us, broken. the bible says that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The word sin, it doesn’t mean much anymore to our time. Our culture has watered it down, allowing each person to define right and wrong and with that, have an individual definition of what sin is. What I have heard about the bible word sin, is that to sin is to miss the target, the bullseye. We are all shooting at moral perfection and declaring ourselves excellent marksmen even if the arrow we shot lands behind us. At least it left the bow, right? No, wrong. God in his ultimate holiness, for us to be near him, needs us to be absolutely perfect. No missed arrows. Every action, every thought to strike the bullseye.
That sounds impossible. It sounds impossible because it is impossible. There has only been one person who lived a perfect life. One, just one. His name is, and it would normally be said of anyone else, his name was, but his name is, although he was born around 2000 years ago, he was killed around 2000 years ago, his name is, because he rose from the dead around 2000 years ago, his name is, Jesus. He is God’s son.
The really unbelievably gracious thing about Jesus is that he can and he will and he does share his perfection with us. It doesn’t sound doable, sharing perfection, but it is. Jesus’ perfect life is like a robe, he can and will hand us his perfection and we can wear it like a robe and have it cover over our sins and then God looks at us, and sees his sons perfection and we are accepted. The way it is transferred is through the blood that he poured out as he was sacrificially crucified for all of us. Because God’s son Jesus was willing to die for us, we can be covered over with his sacrifice, with his blood and with that we are clean, cleansed, absolved, forgiven, freed, redeemed, adopted and welcomed in. We are loved and accepted.
The bible say this about Jesus in the letter to the Hebrews, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” 4:15-16
And later the writer says this, “Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.” 7:26-27
The transaction goes something like this, “Jesus I need what you did to cover me, I want to be clean and forgiven, I believe in what you did and that you rose from the dead.” Then tell some one, tell some one about the cool robe of purity that you just got given by Jesus. You can message me if you want.
If you are reading this and your are already a believer, would you do me a favor and share this post? Send it in email, put it up on Facebook or some other social media. Maybe someone who has never heard about Jesus will read this and receive his gift.
If you don’t like how I wrote this, write a better one and then share it. Write your story and share it.