I often wonder what it means to be a “good Christian.” People will tell you it has to do with simply accepting Jesus as your Lord and savior. What exactly does that look and feel like? What is the point of all that? Where do we take that kind of statement? How do we reconcile with ourselves and with anything as we attempt to do such a thing? What is the point of it all? Why on earth would one want to choose to follow Jesus when they haven’t even met him or know him? Who does that? What kind of marketing scheme is successful where you lose everything and potentially die for someone you may have never met? Let’s look at this for a bit.
What is the point in following Jesus and giving up your life when you don’t know Jesus and you don’t know if what he said was true? What exactly did Jesus offer? Possibly the thing that he offers the most is everlasting life. This is a curious offer because most people’s life’s suck and in all rights shouldn’t be extended further to extend the suffering. So what is special about this everlasting life that Jesus offers? Perhaps it is a promise of a better life, but how can we have a better life given to us by a single person?
Funny you should ask because it seems like Jesus isn’t merely offering everlasting life but he is offering other things too. The second thing he offers us is the forgiveness of our sins. How can Jesus offer us the forgiveness of our sins? What is a sin? How does it affect me? Why is it important that my sins be forgiven? You see near the beginning our humanity there was this dude named Cain. Cain had this issue with his bro and God (that’s right God) tried to warn him about something inside of him or that wanted to get inside of him.
“The LORD said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.’” (Genesis 4:6–7)
In this instance sin is this thing that is stalking Cain and wants to devour him, it wants to get into Cain’s “house.” Later on in the story Cain falls victim to the sin that was stalking him and kills his brother. God approaches Cain and doesn’t repay him with further killing but marks him and allows him to go on living. Where is sin now? It’s in Cain’s house and he is carrying it with him till the day he dies. So the image of sin that we now have is this ravening beast that seeks to consume us from the inside-out. So what’s the problem?
The problem is that we all have this beast within us and it only eats one thing, human flesh. Every time this beast eats or is hungry we feed it ourselves, our own body, our own flesh and blood. It consumes us until the day we die. What is the cure to getting rid of this beast within? How do we slay it? The thing is we can’t because it is too great of an animal and it takes a piece of you every time you try and get close to it. So in a way we are trapped inside our own homes. How do we get this thing out?
That’s what Jesus offers us. Jesus is knocking on the door begging you to let him in. Jesus is offering his own flesh to the beast in your house that you let in. Jesus has had this major crush on you longer than you could know. He wants so desperately to come in and save you from yourself. In him, removing that sin in our lives, we are set free from the terror and death that comes with that monster sin.
Yet, letting Jesus in is only the beginning of your journey with him because you still have this house to place in Jesus’ care and relinquishing power is can be a difficult process.