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Sat Mar 08, 2014
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Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Bubba Jennings
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Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Dave Bruskas
10 Ideas For Keeping Lent
Wed Mar 05, 2014
by Winfield Bevins
Sacrifice of the Fittest
I’ve been in Seattle for six months now, which means I’ve needed a number of haircuts. I found one spot near Mars Hill U-District that hooks me up and I hit up the same guy every time. Each time I go, we get into conversations about Jesus. He’s shared a lot about his life, the things he’s done and hasn’t done.
One thing we often come back to is that he believes all someone has to do is be a good person in order to be with God forever. It was surely not the first time I’ve heard that. In fact, it’s almost like a reflexive attitude in most people. Sure we do bad things, most say, but no one is perfect and God just wants us to try our best.
Where does this belief come from, that we are somehow good and all we have to do is be that and God will accept us? While there are perhaps countless answers to that question, one potential answer could be found in the Darwinian theory of survival of the fittest.
But the blood of animals like bulls and goats was never enough.
The Blood of the Unblemished
The Bible presents a world that is in sharp contrast to the one we want to believe we live in. We want to believe we live in a world governed by survival of the fittest, when in fact all of Scripture and all of reality points to a world that flourishes and thrives on sacrifice of the fittest. In the Old Testament, only animals that were without spot, wrinkle, or blemish were considered worthy of a holy, perfect God, and thus worthy of sacrifice. Leviticus 22:21 states, “And when anyone offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering from the herd or from the flock, to be accepted it must be perfect; there shall be no blemish in it.” The blood from a physically perfect animal was intended to purify for the moral imperfection of Israel (see also Lev. 16).
The fittest, holiest, most sinless person of all time, the God-man Jesus Christ, died for all of us who are wholly unfit.
But the blood of animals like bulls and goats was never enough. The author of Hebrews points to the true purifying sacrifice when he writes, “how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Heb. 9:14).
The Lie in Rebellion
In our rebellion, we want to believe we live in a world that says, “Just be a good person and you will be with God,” when Scripture, our bodies, and our consciences cry out, “You’re not a good person—you are selfish and only want survival.” Every little bit of selfishness, envy, bitterness, or greed shows how blemished you are just like every pimple or wrinkle or wart you have gotten in your lifetime.
We are completely unfit, and this is a sin problem. When we are able to finally see that there is a problem greater than we can possibly conceive, we see the solution: Jesus Christ.
In God’s economy, only the sacrifice of the fittest leads to life everlasting.
The answer to the problem of our sin is God reconciling the sinners to himself through Jesus Christ. And how did he do it? Not by surviving, but by sacrificing himself on the cross. The fittest, holiest, most sinless person of all time, the God-man Jesus Christ, died for all of us who are wholly unfit. The best died for the worst.
We’re Not Worthy
This is the news my barber—and the whole world—needs to hear. He needs to know that “just being a good person” is another take on the jacked-up notion of survival of the fittest. He needs to know that like you and me, he is the most unfit person in the world and completely unworthy to stand before a holy God. He needs to know—and we as believers most definitely need to be reminded—that in God’s economy, only the sacrifice of the fittest leads to life everlasting.