In somewhat of a continuation of what I wrote yesterday, I just wanted to point something out that I think is so easy to forget.
The story of Christ is simple. The theology of Christ is simple. What God asks of us is simple.
As I read through Paul's letters and read back through Christ's sermons I can't help but think how simple the message really is.
To me, the message is this. God created man to be united with Him. He gave us anything we could have ever wanted, with one stipulation. That stipulation was only governed by free will and unfortunately we broke our relationship with God so we could have what we wanted. Sin entered the world. Sin entered us.
Over the years God saw how we continued to choose not to have a relationship with Him. His heart was saddened because He knew what more we could be if only we could have a real relationship again. He still loved us. He loved us like a father loves a child. He wanted nothing other than the best for us, yet we chose time and time again to go our own way.
In God's love, He sent His son. He was born of a virgin so there was no doubt He was God's son. He gave Him humble beginnings as to relate and show His love for even the least of these. Life was hard for Christ. He had given up all He had to become human to be like us. He gave up all his power and authority so that He could die for us.
Satan owned us. Yes we were God's creation, but choosing to go our own way allowed sin in our lives and made us slaves to ourselves. Nothing we could do could restore that relationship. God sent Jesus to die to be our payment for what we had done. He bought us at the price of His own son. He gave His son for no other reason than to have a restored relationship with us.
Christ was brutally beaten and crucified. We chose to beat Him. We chose to crucify Him. We wanted our free will. We knew what was "best."
Christ died and was buried.
Three days later after defeating the gates of Hell and paying for our sin, He was alive again. He was alive again to show that He paid for our sins yet God was still in control.
He left us on earth with the great Comforter. The Holy Spirit was sent to us to be God's presence inside us. He was the connection piece that allowed us to again have a true relationship with God. It enables us to have a life beyond ourselves. To have a full life. A life that is focused on what we were created for.
Sure there is more to the story than this, but for me this is a reminder of how simple the story really is. It is a story of love.
Ultimately the story is so simple that even a child could understand. Children have a way of knowing things and comprehending things that we as adults make so complicated. I think if we could just realize how simple the story really is and learn to truly love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and likewise love our neighbor as we love ourselves....we would see clearly God's will for our lives.
The story is for everyone. No one is excluded, no one is forgotten. It is a story that can truly change lives if it is internalized. We have a tendency to complicate things. We make things harder than they have to be. Why is that?
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16