The Divine Romance (Part 2)
On this day when it is customary to express gratefulness for everything one can possibly think of, it seems only appropriate to reflect on what we should be thankful for above all else. Wow, that felt melodramatic to write, but it’s the truth.
A week or so ago I was telling a story. When I left off, those insufferable creatures known as humans were trapped on this world, separated from God and the joy for which they were made, and completely incapable of living up to the moral code they were given as a means of bridging the gap back into God’s Book of Life. (Theologically, that last phrase probably isn’t entirely correct, but for the purpose of expressing the overarching themes of the gospel as a linear story, it is quite adequate.)
All of this was to illustrate one point—one uncomfortable truth: man is not adequate to save himself. The only means of salvation is perfection, and the only perfection exists only in God Himself.
Thus man is destined for a life of eternal separation from his natural state. He must spend all of the rest of forever separated from his Creator and Sustenance. But God did not allow this state to continue.
Somebody must pay for man’s misdeeds; somebody must die. Each day, hundreds of thousands of us do. Each day, hundreds of thousands of us go into the great beyond with no hope of an eternity in a state of perfection. It doesn’t have to be this way. (Also not a completely theologically/philosophically sound statement. Let it slide.)
You see, just as we were all once represented by one human who put us into a state of rebellion, we have another representative. Two thousand years ago, God Himself came to Earth in human form. He lived a perfect life, attaining the moral perfection necessary for Salvation, but He chose to die anyways. He chose to accept the natural penalty of our sins—our imperfection—and die anyways. We can now have peace with God.
This story of redemption is something that every human understands. The knowledge of it is placed deep within our hearts. We can see this clearly in literature and film. The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia both house this story as either a plot device or primary story arc. Of course, you could argue that these were both Christian authors, and their works would naturally expose their views on life. But even the works of such probably non-Christian artists as George Lucas contain this story least in generalities if not in specifics. Just as the Bible says, man is without excuse.
Three days later, Jesus, God in human form, rose from the dead just as those who follow Him will someday—just as Gandalf did, just as Aslan did and, in a way, just as Anakin Skywalker did.
This is my hope, and this is that which I am most thankful: I can now know God.