Monday, September 12, 2011

Bigger than the Cross?

In the very first episode of the cult classic TV series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," Buffy Summers is faced with a hellish situation: starting a new school.
Horrifying, no?
She meets with her new principle who starts their meeting by taking her transcript and ripping it to pieces before her eyes. "Welcome to Sunnydale. A clean slate, Buffy, that's what you get here. What's past is past. We're not interested in what it says on a piece of paper. Even if it says-whoa." He sees a few words, probably "fire" and "gymnasium" and falters. He spends the next few moments verbally supporting his "clean slate" philosophy, all the while slowly reconstructing the torn up transcript to reveal Buffy's very colorful past, taping it together and putting it back into her file.

Sometimes, I approach God like this. Hoping and wishing that I can start with a clean slate. I love that He can make my past ancient history. But I'm really afraid that He will say, "You have a clean slate, starting from--wait, you did WHAT three years ago? Yeah, well, that's not okay. So Let's see...clean slate from...hmmm." I am afraid that God will see my past, the things I've done and the things I've left undone, and tell me that there isn't any hope. I doubt the goodness of God.
And guess what? I got called out on it. By a podcast, no less.
As I was getting ready this morning I listened to a Matt Chandler sermon from last month called "Dealing with Doubt." He was speaking about when we doubt God's love and affection for us. (And I think, for some of us, worth, love and affection is directly tied to what we do or what we don't do.) Matt said this about doubting God's affection for us:
So some of you are walking in doubt because you just doubt God’s affection for you. And that’s idolatry, because what you’re doing in essence is looking at the bloody cross of Jesus Christ and going, “That’s not enough. You’re going to have to show me something bigger than this to convince me You love me.” Some of you are wrestling with doubt because you doubt Christ’s affection for you despite the fact that He went to the cross and died for you despite knowing you.
And that hit me in the gut. Massively. Tell Him the cross wasn't big enough? The suffering, the anguish, the pain of death on the cruelest devices of torture of that time? That wasn't good enough for me?
Sometimes it's a doubt thing or as Matt calls it, an idolatry thing. Sometimes, I wonder though, if it isn't a pride thing. "Sure you can save the world, but me? Nope. I've done too many bad things for you to save me." Too much of "me" in that sentence.

I'm reminded of Galatians 1:3-5, the passage my pastor spoke out of this past Sunday. (You can check out the outline here. The audio should be up soon.)
"Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

He gave himself up. To rescue. Me?

Apparently, yes.

Show me something bigger than the Cross?

I won't ever find something bigger than the Cross of Christ.
I just need to look at me less and look to Him more.

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