Empty Pt. 2

emptySeveral days ago, Jesus was greeted as a rock star as He rode a donkey into Jersusalem. This was the moment when everyone assumed that Jesus would give this big speech and rally the nation of Israel for the biggest revolt they had ever seen against the Romans. Quite frankly, Jesus could have done it. He could have pulled a “Braveheart” and got people excited enough to do it. The problem was, these Israelites had become so comfortable with their slavery. Sure, they wanted to be free, but did they want to be free enough to actually do something about it? Nope.

The Israelites were sort of busy celebrating Passover. When Jesus made a spectacle of himself it was cutting into their feasting time. They would have feasts, parties, and gatherings year after year for hundreds of years, and they knew that each one of these holidays symbolized something about their heritage. Deliverance from Egypt, the wandering in the dessert, and salvation from sins on a yearly basis pretty much explained all their celebration. The odd part was that no one ever questioned why they celebrated these things in the way they did. Could it be that these feasts and festivals were not meant to only remind them of what God had done, but also prepare them for what God was going to do?  Nah….If that as the case God would have just told them. Anyway, the feasts were fun and all, but there was something about them that was so…empty.

Think about it. This nation was so used to annointed individuals being sent from God who possessed God’s favor enough to do amazing things on their behalf. They were used to Sampson slaying thousands of soldiers, Moses looking pharaoh straight in the eye and walking the Israelites out the front door, and David slaying the giant that was standing in their way. In their perspective, this is how God operated; through humiliating the enemy and showing His power through force and deliverance.

The one they called Jesus was breaking this mold. A week later, as He dragged this cross of humiliation through the middle of town, people realized how weak He was. He didn’t even defend himself when mocked. He seemed like he was so preoccupied with what He was doing that He could not even muster the energy to fight back. Did He even care that He was being led to slaughter?

What these people didn’t realize was that Jesus had one focus in His life, and at this point in history, was so close to actually seeing it happen. His mission was about complete and He could care less about the mocking, spitting, and rocks being thrown at Him. Granted, He cared about them all, but He had one goal in that moment…He ignored the world’s collective tantrum so He could fulfill His purpose.

I am so glad He never lost sight of His goal. The fact that His death was not permanent means that mine doesn’t have to be either.

-Landon DeCrastos

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Hiding

Did God create sin? This is an intriguing question for many because it certainly seems that this could be a feasible origin. I think it is important for us to define sin first.

In scripture, when the first humans sinned it started a domino effect that still cause residual “ripples” today.

Some people have a problem with the identification of sin. Sometimes it is easier to have a list than to follow a principle. Is it things like sex before marriage, drinking, or dancing? Or, is it things like skipping church, playing cards, or saying bad words? Then again, what if it was something like child abuse or animal cruelty? These things get confusing.

The basic definition of sin is living in disobedience to God. The word “sin” is an old archery term that literally means “to miss the mark”. So, if we understand sin in this way, we can see that sin wasn’t actually created, but was a free will response.

Next question, did God know Adam and Eve were going to sin…even though He knew it would separate them from HIm? Ahh….this is a good question and one that a few scholars debate. I am no scholar, but I believe He did know. Why? Well, I am glad you asked.

When humanity was created, God already had a mechanism in place that would alleviate the weight of sin. This idea of forgiveness and mercy was ready to be deployed any time Adam or Eve messed up. It was a pretty straight forward transaction and an effective teaching tool.

Adam and Eve, with the first sin (to be like God and reject His truth) had this mechanism available to them. God even still walked among them to search for the couple after the sin was committed. It was their shame (a result of sin) that created the separation. Their shame was what made them hide, and to them it was sacred.

In my next post, I want to talk about what causes us to sin….a very interesting concept.

-Landon DeCrastos