Tuesday, November 16, 2004

So, what's your problem?

Although contemporary thinkers have any number of theories about what humanity's basic problem is, Jesus had it nailed. Our main problem in life is that we're going to die. We sin, and then we get what we deserve.

I had a Microeconomics professor who gave us the economist's view of the process of life. "You're born, you produce, you consume, you die." From a spiritual perspective, it looks a little different: "You're born, you sin, Jesus steps in, you repent, you die, God raises you to His right hand."

Fr. David Hudgins at The Great Commandment delivered a great little homily a couple of weeks ago based on the Book of Maccabees. From Fr. Hudgins:
This word, resurrection is sort of overplayed for us in English. It almost sounds like resuscitation. I like the Greek expression for resurrection much better. Anastasis necron. Literally it means “the standing up again of a corpse.” This is obviously a tremendously literal, pictorial expression. The standing up again of a corpse. That is precisely what we profess in our creed.What came down from that cross on Good Friday was a corpse. What was then laid in the tomb was a corpse. But on the third day, He rose. His risen body was transformed, glorified. Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, paved the way for you and for me, to rise from the grave transformed, spiritualized. This is our hope. This is our faith. This is why we’re here on Sunday morning, resurrection day. God’s love was so great, that He sent His Son to take sin and death onto Himself, so that we might live, so that sin and death would not have the last laugh.

That last deserves to be repeated. Sin and death do not have the last laugh. When you look in the back of the Book, Jesus wins.


Kitsune said...

The hardest thing that an Islamic friend and I have to try to bridge is the understanding of sin. Apparently, Muslims do not believe in original sin, nor that man needed a Redeemer. They believe that faith in Allah and good works in his name (the way) are enough . . . that they can bridge that gap between man and God alone. The problem is, even a cursory reading of Genesis will show you how that's impossible. But we're at an impasse, even so, for if you don't think Man is fallen, then the glory of Christ as Redeemer is completely lost on you. The awesome gift that Christ gave us still just blows me away when I really sit down and think about it . . . it grieves me that my friend just can't see how neccessary it was, and instead focuses on whether or not we've allowed the New Testament to be translated out of the original language.

Thanks for the quote, anyway, it gave me something to think about, that "corpus" dead because of OUR sin . . . .

Rosalind said...

How does your friend view Jesus? C.S. Lewis has a great view of the impossibility of leaving him in the "great moral teacher" category.

"I am trying to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I am ready to accept Jesus as the great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on a level with the man who says he is a boiled egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

Therese Z said...

What concerns me is that I may occasionally slip into easy-believism, that Christ saves me, over and over, seventy times seven, and my sin is inevitable, so why try to conform my life in holiness?

He redeems me, but I must what? present my heart for His redeeming fire? present my sins to be forgiven and go gather up new ones to present? present my good works to show good will and cooperation? present my intellect and don't think anything, be passive and inactive, so I don't sin? It's a little baffling, even though I know the correct answers and where to find them anew.

TS said...

Therese Z's comment is what I struggle with too. I recently read Kathy Shaidle's "Twelve Steps for the Rest of Us" and it's pretty worthwhile. She said her Grandma insisted on having a housecleaner when she was at the retirement home, but would unfailingly clean everything before the housekeeper arrived. Kathy says many Christians are like that, trying to clean themselves while always saying that it's God who is the Housecleaner.



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