One of the core themes of the Star Wars saga is the rebellion of the evil empire against the good represented by the Republic and the Jedi Knights. As we watch movies like Star Wars, we identify ourselves with the good guys, those who fight for the brotherhood of mankind and the ultimate triumph of good over evil.
Culturally, we see the world through similar eyes—we see the good of America at war against the evil of the Islamic State; we see the good of capitalism at war against the evil of communism. This is true throughout history.
It should come as no surprise, then, that when it comes to man’s rebellion and war against God, we still see ourselves as part of the good guys, but we are not. Mankind represents the very personification of evil. From the moment we begin breathing, until we are laid to rest in the earth, our very thoughts are in rebellion against God and His Messiah. Of all of creation, from the heavens to the depth of the ocean, who has openly rebelled against their Creator like mankind? We stand alone, guilty, and without excuse.
The truth is, the Bible is clear in its description of God’s perspective of man:
“The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man” (Psalm 5:5-6)
Yet, it is equally truth, that God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son to die for us while we were yet sinners!
This is the mystery of the Cross. It’s too easy to think that when Jesus gave His life on the Cross, he did so for our lies, our lustful thoughts, and our multitude of other sinful actions. When Jesus went to the Cross, he didn’t just endure the penalty of our sin, He stood in the place of sinners. Isaiah 53 paints a vivid picture:
3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
— Isaiah 53:3–6 (ESV)
As we work our way through this week’s Compass and the accompanying Lighthouse Lesson, it is my prayer that we begin to appreciate the depth of God’s love for us and for unreached people around the world. He is not calling us to live as a silent “moral majority” within our communities or culture; God is calling us to join Him in the ongoing redemptive work of bring a people to Himself from every tribe, language, nation, and people. If you are willing, join me in praying this simple prayer this week:
“Oh God, move me closer to your heart for the nations. Make Your passion my mission.”
This week’s R2R distinctive
Jesus Christ (John 1:12): We believe in Jesus Christ, His deity, virgin birth, sinless life, vicarious death, burial and bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of the Father and His personal future return in power and glory. We are significant only because of our position as children of God.
For this week’s devotional study, download this issue of The Compass.