Monday, February 28, 2011

Why People Reject Jesus Christ!

People don't make any sense or perhaps they do. I guess they make perfect sense if we look at it from our selfish nature, our need to get the best for ourselves. I have many conversations with people about Jesus, the Bible and what they are willing to accept and it shouldn't surprise me that they only want the bits that feel good. It seems we are in the business of designing a god after our own liking, always leaving the uncomfortable bits off. If we aren't going to own up to the fact that we are contrary to God at the heart of our nature then there is no possible way that we are going to be willing to look at the uncomfortable bits in the Bible; the bits that tell us that we have fallen short of the glory of God.

Nobody wants to hear that they are wrong and nobody wants to face the reality of what we are before our holy God. He is perfection and we are imperfection. He is holy and we are not. He is love and we haven't even begun to understand what love is. God is far more than I could ever express in a million words and we can be described in two words - messed up. But we don't want to hear it, face it or even consider it. We shut down our thinking process and we throw up ridiculous arguments that don't make any sense. When we are faced with the wonderful logic of our God, with his impossible love, with his unending forgiveness, our circuit breaker goes off and we yell to drown him out. You don't believe me? What a shock! ;-) Then consider Jesus' trial.

Pilate had questioned Jesus and found nothing to charge him with but because of the political situation in Jerusalem Pilate could not simply let him go. Although he was the Roman governor the Jews were a pain in the neck. It is possible that he had orders to keep the peace and if he did not then there would be consequences. Could there have been worse places to be posted as a governor? So he had to find a way to release Jesus without taking any of the blame. He settled on the tradition of releasing one prisoner as a Passover offering. He settled on giving the people the choice of Barabbas or Jesus. He probably figured it was a safe bet; a choice between a murderer and a peaceful teacher and miracle worker. How little Pilate understood.

We are told the priests and elders were in the crowd stirring the people against Jesus and once a crowd starts moving in a certain direction there is no stopping it. Look at the illogic of it:

“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.
“Barabbas,” they answered.
“What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked.
They all answered, “Crucify him!”
“Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” (Matthew 27:21-23)

Can you hear the bewilderment in Pilate's question of why? Was there any logical argument? None whatsoever because none existed. The crowd had no reason to demand the blood of this prophet, this miracle worker, this profound teacher of the holy Scriptures, and yet yell for it they did. The reason the priests and elders wanted him dead was because Jesus was perceived as a threat to the order of their life. He was an authority they did not understand and that they could not control. They wanted the ability to continue to live in their own comfortable ways.

It is no different for people today; they want to be able to do what they want to do. They do not want to consider for a moment that what they want to do is separating them from our heavenly Father and being separated from him at judgement is not going to be a good thing. The vast majority of people would rather deny his existence then face the consequences of their nature. Those that do acknowledge his existence only want to accept the bits that will allow them to continue in their comfort. But here's the thing, that comfort is also know as sin and sin only has one outcome, "For the wages of sin is death".

We have to accept the uncomfortable bits before we can dive into the good stuff and there is lots of good stuff, because our Father loves us:

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

In order for us to understand the magnitude of what Jesus has done for us we must first recognize and confess all the bad bits in us, sin and the ugliness it creates. Then, when his light shines on us we are able to realize the great gift he has held out to us:

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Yet, so many people stand in the dark, yelling their illogic that God does not exist. They don't want him to exist because they do not want to be honest about their condition. They will criticize the messengers of God's Word of love and will even hate them for it as a way to fortify their own position. They will call us ugly, prejudiced, unloving, uncaring, hurtful all so that they can keep lying to themselves. Crucify him! Get him out of our comfortable lives! He is making me feel bad. Away with him! They don't want to hear from the Word. They deny it's authority. They make their feelings, their thoughts, their opinions king over everything else.

The facts are, God created us in his perfection and we messed it up by introducing sin to his perfect creation. Sin trapped us and enslaved us and has kept us enslaved for thousands of years. Sin has turned us into vial, ugly creatures that live contrary to the perfection of God. However, our Father loved us too much to see us destroyed so he did what we could not do for ourselves through Jesus. It was by his love and sacrifice that he opened the door for our reconciliation with him. Even though we were lost in rebellion he still gave his all to win us back to him. His great desire is for everyone to be reconciled to him and it begins when we are honest with ourselves about our condition.

So don't be put off when your children, your parents, your friends, your co-workers and your neighbours reject Jesus Christ. Don't be put off by their illogical arguments and shouting. Don't be put off when all they want to do is avoid you. The Spirit has a way of opening the door. Keep at it. Keep shining that light of truth. Keep persisting even in the blast of their illogic. It is a matter of life and death so don't give up! God hasn't.


Anonymous said...

Pastor, another great read you have posted. I am inspired by your teachings. They are true, and how illogic it is to turn from the truth!

Erica said...

I was in tears until I came across this posting. This narrow road we try our best to stay on isn't easy but the end result is all so worth it. Thank you for posting.