Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Of Things Not Seen

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Faith is hard, hard for me anyway. For some people, it seems rather easy, "Yes, of course the Universe was created in six days. Yes, of course women were created from the rib of the original man. And two of every animal were rescued by a man with a very large boat. And Lot's wife turned into a pillar of salt. And Egypt was overrun by plagues of frogs, gnats, flies, and locusts. And the Red Sea parted. And Jonah was swallowed by a whale...."

These are just, so unbelievable. I've been turning this kind of thing over an over again in my mind lately - questioning.

Is questioning wrong? I don't know. I think it's a matter of degrees. On one hand, you should be responsible for looking up things in the Bible yourself and studying it yourself and finding the right resources to help you understand it more. On the other hand, some things are just unknowable. 

Some things have to come down to faith.

But this is all Old Testament stuff. The miracles of the time before Jesus, who came as the greatest miracle of them all. The ultimate sacrifice. The one who would bear the wrath of God for all of the sins of those who would believe in him and follow his teachings.

I think about that a lot too. 

The weight of my sins on my heart can be overwhelming. There's a tightness there, a sort of stabbing loss of breath that catches me off guard and leaves me feeling hopeless...and helpless. The feeling of my heart breaking. 

Sometimes I think about how it would feel to have that experience compounded millions of times over, and I wonder if that must have been what it felt like for Jesus. Sometimes I wonder if that was the real torture of the cross. The physical pain, that's the fear of humans. It's horrible, to be sure, but it's superficial.

The crushing weight of the sin of millions would be more than any one human could take.

And maybe that's ultimately what killed Him. Once God the Father turned his face away from his dying son, removing what grace had leveraged from his soul, did the weight of a world of sins end his life?

Did Jesus die of a broken heart?

I don't know. There is no way to know, at least not now. Not in this life.

But I have faith that he did die for my sins. He did take my place and receive the punishment and judgement that I deserve.  

Now, as for seas parting and boats carrying two of every kind...I don't believe it's a lie. I have faith that God saves His people and destroys the wicked. The fine details, well there's just no way of knowing.