Crazy Grace

April 12, 2010

So grace is a pretty big deal. If you think  you know everything about grace. Read Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning.

This book has renewed my soul.  I don’t even know what that means. But I feel like it has.

In fact there was a part in that book that inspired me so much, that I had to blog on a random thought right now.

The book compares the story of Abraham and Issac, to God and Jesus.  You can see the parallels pretty easy.  Both only sons, both big sacrifices, so on and so forth.  But this book highlighted something new for me.

So in the story of Abraham and Issac.  It’s a little bit different. And probably more relatable because they’re human and not God.  So, the story goes, that after a really long time Abraham and his wife finally have the son they want.  Then however long after, God ask Abraham to sacrifice that new and only son Issac to God.  At this point in the story, the human in you is like what the heck God, why?

So then Abraham is obedient and takes his son to the place of the sacrifice, even ties his son up and puts him the altar and is getting the knife out.   At this point in the story, me as the human reads it and says what the heck? is this really gonna happen?  This is so unfair to make this loving man, kill the child he has waited so many years for, and now God is testing him or whatever, this is jacked.  And so Abe is just about to kill his son when God intervenes and says don’t do it.

Nuts.

Now there are plenty of explanations out there that explain this and a lot of them are great.  But we’re gonna ignore that for now.

Lets flash forward.

Now we get to the parallel story where it is God, and his son Jesus. And Jesus has to be sent to the cross for our sins.  Me as the human, says why, but at the same time says this makes sense.  I think it may be because I have heard this story so many times and I just think well this is the way it is, and that’s just how it has to be.  God has to die for us.  But not a big deal because he’s God.

But have you thought that maybe instead of just knowing that, that’s how it is, or just saying to ourselves “how curious“, that maybe we should be reacting the same when Jesus is about to be put on the cross as we did with Abraham and Issac.  That we should be saying to ourselves, that this isn’t fair, that this loving God should not have to kill His son.  That because the people He has loved forever are testing Him, and this is the only way out for the people He loves, and someone should stop this death from happening. That this is jacked. And then Jesus is murdered.

But the death happens. And the anguish in God the father happens, because for who He loves, he has to make this sacrifice.  That is how grace happens.

And I usually don’t relate to that.  I don’t feel the same injustice as I did when Issac was put up on the altar, I am not complaining quite as much when Jesus is put on the cross.  It’s messed up, but not as much as the Issac thing.

That’s what’s wrong with us.  We feel worse for Issac and Abraham, then God and Jesus right there.

Change my heart God, your Grace is crazy.  My heart is foolish.  What you did for us was hard for you. And it was my fault that you had to do it.  Thank you my King.

My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.
Recently at a good Friday service I was asked to read this passage.  For some reason this passage came a lot more alive to me when I had to read it.

I had a friend come to me after, and ask me why Jesus said that. Why Jesus had felt forsaken by God.

There are all sorts of commentaries and ideas about this. But I think I may know why.

I think in that moment, God the father had to turn his back on Jesus.  That he couldn’t be around that sin that Jesus took on for us.

I believe that in that moment, Jesus was living out the legalistic relationship that we don’t have to live out.

We all as humans struggle with the idea that God punishes us when we’re bad, and rewards us when we’re good, but that’s not how God works.  That denotes everything that Grace is.  And because God wanted to do everything for us he sent his son.

Can you imagine what that would have been like for Christ. One, he is rejected by those he loves and is forced on the cross. Two he is taking the punishment we deserve.

Thirdly for a moment in time, his relationship with the person closest to him is broken.  And its not because of something he did, its because of something a ton of people did, that he loves dearly.

Isn’t that amazing.  Imagine the person your closest too.  Now imagine that relationship be cut off, and if you multiply that feeling by infinity, I think we may have some of an idea of what Jesus may have been going through right then.  It’s a pretty crazy idea.

I feel the longer we know Christ, the more we get to realize how much he loves us, and what he did for us.

I am glad we have a God that will not forsake us, because of His deep love for us, and because of what He did for us.