Monday, July 07, 2008

Jesus Is More Than the Clean Up Guy

Perhaps you may have been to the ocean and tripped on those rocks covered with barnacles. Perhaps like me, as a kid you got all scraped up playing on those rocks. Well, believe it or not western Kansas has something similar. Apparently, an ocean was here at one time. Just north of Scott City there are couple of places of fossilized beach front property.

While we were searching for rocks, that wonderful 2-year-old of mine decided he could walk down a steep slope full of clam shells. I looked up just as he started down the 6 foot hill, and it was too late. I nearly jumped down the entire slope in an attempt to catch and save the little guy, but it was too late. I saw him tumble. He literally planted his face into those shells.

I picked him up quickly and wiped out his mouth that was full of dirt. We had water and towels in the car, so I cleaned him up as best I could. He was lucky, just several scratches on is face and a few other places. It certainly is a good thing God made 2-year-olds light and flexible. They heal quickly too.

The thought came to my mind. Is Jesus really looking up and seeing people that he loves so much walking off a cliff? Does He spring into action only to be too late, so now He tries to clean up the mess? In some ways, there is a parallel between the saving work of Christ and that event. Christ certainly cleans up sinners after our fall. Yet, I think we have a poor view of Jesus if we see Him as merely the guy that tries to save but fails.

The Scripture does not describe Jesus as someone who was not paying attention and looks up only to realize He has a mess to clean up. Instead we see a Great Shepherd who sees His sheep wander from His fold. We see a Jesus going after His sheep fully equipped with all the power that God is. We see a Jesus who has absolute authority to lay His life down for His sheep. We see a Jesus who has authority to raise Himself from the dead to save His sheep perfectly.

Jesus is not dependent upon some creature for His success. He is anything but me. Where I failed miserably, Jesus saves perfectly. There is simply no comparison. I fell short, and to compare a human father's love for his children with that of God's love is almost insulting to God. Yes, you could draw some parallels between men and Christ. They are merely shadows. Jesus is the substance. He is the perfect Savior!


Ed Groover said...

I made a similar point in last Sunday's sermon. In defining the Gospel, I listed six things that the Gospel is not. One of those is that the Gospel is NOT that Jesus came to fix your life, i.e., clean up your messes. Often, in His mercy, He a by-product or ancillary benefit of the Gospel. But He often allows us to reap the natural consequences of our actions.

Howard Fisher said...

I saw that you had a new sermon titled "What is the Gospel?" I look forward to listening to that this week.