The Great Antithesis
I must admit the more I study and emerge myself in Godís Word, the more ignorant I feel. Recently, I was studying the different aspects of Christís life and saw nothing but opposites. Names like Alpha and Omega stand out, the beginning and the end. Furthermore, Christ is both "the Lion of Judah" and the "Lamb of God". How can that be? Furthermore, how about the statement that Jesus Christ was the first born from the dead? Our savior and redeemer of the entire world; the King of Kings and Lord of Lords was born in an obscure town, in a little known time, to nameless parents. Yes, He was a simple son of a carpenter, but He was the Son of God. Jesus is our savior that was born to die for the sins of others. An innocent victim that paid the price for us, the guilty ones. Jesus, the man of peace who said I did not come to bring peace but a sword; father against son, mother against daughter. Jesus, a man who condemned the good and renown of the day to say to a common thief on a cross, "Today, you will be with me in Paradise."
Why? Here I am a student of the bible, and why is the only thing I could come up with. Why? (feeling stupid here) Why? Why didnít you come today when CNN or Fox News Channel could have covered your birth? Why didnít you come as royalty, instead of a pauper? Why? Why? Is there a common thread through this whole story that I just donít see? If I stay quiet, and pray, will you tell me the answer? Please, Lord; tell me the mystery behind these seemingly incomprehensible differencesÖ
God answered my question of why with one of His own, "Why must you know?" Being honest, I said, "Lord, it wouldnít be much of a chapter if it ended here." He just laughed and laughed. "Thatís right, I did give you a good sense of humor." Well then, letís begin from the beginning and end with the end. When I create you, my people, I had a desire that all, not just some, but all would come and worship me as their God. I knew some would fall away, but still I had a desire for even those that had, did, and will fall, to come back to me. You see, "I love you"! Itís as simple as that. What better way to get all to come back to me than to give the world someone that all could relate to? My son Jesus is the Great Antithesis for that one purpose. To make all who seek Me out to feel welcome in My house. My son Christ came to your world to be the answer to every question. Therefore, no matter who or what you are; no matter where you came from; no matter how rich or how poor you are, I love you and you are mine.
Could this be the answer that I searched for? One so simple, but yet so deep. I just shook my head in disbelief. Tears formed in my eyes, and I cried to know that the God and Father of all the world would love me/us so much that He gave us such a precious and ultimate gift. His Son! That with Christ all can feel comfortable to cry out the name Abba, Father. Whether rich or poor, Jesus is the answer. Whether saint or sinner, Jesus is the answer. No matter your lot in life, know this. You have a God that can meet you where you are; a God who is not embarrassed of you! He is a God who loves you for who you are, because He made you and He calls you out by name! The only thing He asks is that you accept the free and wonderful gift that He is offering, and make Him your God. Moreover, unlike any other religion, the only way to this loving God is through His Son, Jesus. The same Jesus who died for our sins. The same Jesus who is the answer to any question or problem that we may have. The same Jesus who is the same yesterday, today and forever!
Intense is the only way I can describe this revelation. That God would take the time to tell me these hidden secrets, that were never really hidden or a secret at all. All of scriptures cry out with these truths. The one and only message God is proclaiming in all His Word is this one truth. He is our God and we are His people. Thatís it. Nothing more. The God that set the world in motion is waiting for you to recognize this one reality. When you do, you become free to love and serve Him. Accepting God, as God is uplifting and freeing, because, guess what? You no longer have to fill the role. You no longer have to worry about tomorrow because no matter how hard you worry you will not change the outcome. God has given us the option of choosing life, and even more so, to live that life more abundantly. Why are we not capable of seeing and accepting this gift of gifts?
Not only has God freed us from worry, but He also freed us to love the unlovable. If all we need comes from God, and we recognize this fact, we no longer have to love in a selfish way. We no longer have to love someone because of what they can give us, but we can just love them for who and what they are, as all our needs have already been met. Accepting this reality allows us to love in the truest senses of the word, you know the Agape love that Christ told us about. Stop and think about the motives to your love. They are there if you allow your eyes to truly see. The love that is built on the security that another has to offer. The love that is built on the material goods that another can provide. The love that is built on the perfect report card that you can present to your parents. These examples are the so-called truths that this world has given us in place of the true love that God has to offer.
Can you see what I am saying? Like Plato explains in the allegory of the cave, we are not seeing the world as it was meant to be, but only seeing the shadows of what can be. If only you have the courage to venture outside of the cave to see the beauty God has to offer. Stop! See the world for what it is. The world is a beautiful creation given to us, Godís people, to enjoy. Enjoy each day for what it is instead of what you hope it would be, or better yet, hope to make it. Perhaps in business, swimming against the tide can make you rich, but when you fight against God, you just get tired. That is why we see so many tired people. Relax and go with the flow. Enjoy the ride for you may never pass this way again.
Before everyone thinks that they just need to sit back and do nothing, let me introduce you to a little reality. There is a perfect harmony to this world. Have you noticed that not all the world is a mountain, and not all the world is a valley? There are seas and deserts. Finally, there is life and then there is LIFE. Life is for living. Life is for sharing. Life is meant to spread the Good News of what you have learned and to share that Good News with others. Life is to grow in the field in which you were planted. To struggle to break through the earth so that all can see the God given beauty you possess. Then, eventually, to pollinate the ground around you so that others may have the joy of life that you have. Finally, to whither and die in hopes of the glory promised you by Christ.
One of the sins the early church fought against was this: "I donít have to do anything because Jesus is coming back tomorrow." Well, perhaps He is, but wouldnít you want Him to find you discharging the mission He gave you when He left? Go out unto all the world and preach the Good News; baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. There is still Good News to preach and it all begins with the simplest of actions. That is, allowing the God and Father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Moses, David and Isaiah to be your God too. What started out as being a simple realization on your part, could end up being the medicine that ends the turmoil in your life. Arenít you tired of fighting? Arenít you tired of being tired? Then listen to your heart. Listen to the Word of God where it says; "Come unto me all who are tired and I will give you rest." Who is the "I" that promises to give you rest? It is Jesus, the Alpha and the Omega! The beginning and the end! The first-born from the dead! The Lion of Judah, the Lamb of God! The simple carpenter who was, and is the one true King of the entire world! He is the son that sits at the Fatherís right hand, who is waiting on you to call his name. JESUS! JESUS! JESUS! A name unlike any other name! Amen!