As I was doing my Bible reading this morning, I passed over a passage that I had highlighted AND underlined. Obviously, in previous readings I found it important enough to mark twice over, but today it really made me stop and think.
Jesus is the most misunderstood person mentioned in the Bible. He is the most known person, but often misinterpreted by the secular and Christian communities. Yes, he loved everyone, he was kind, and he lived a peaceful life (except for that time he flipped over a table and yelled in anger at the poor behavior and decisions of those in the temple). But in Matthew 10:34 he said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
Jesus was not put on the earth to show us how to love one another no matter what; he was put on earth to fight for lost souls, so that they may see their sin and turn from it. Old Testament laws were not to be forgotten once Jesus arrived. Quite contrarily, Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17). The things that were immoral in the Old Testament were still immoral in the New.
Of course, it was always in the plan for Jesus to die on the cross. That death was foreshadowed repeatedly in the Old Testament. His death was the punishment for all the sins that had been, were being, and have yet to be committed. But (and this is a big but) his death on the cross is not a blank check with your name on it; it is not the chance for you to say that God knows you’re human and, therefore, forgives your sinning. Fortunately, he does forgive us, because none of us are perfect, but the death of Jesus did not give us freedom to continue sinning, to choose to sin. Those who purposely sin, believing that they are covered with the blank check of Jesus’s death every time they do wrong, need to rethink their actions.
We need to live our lives as best as we can, doing good and thinking righteously. “Enter through the narrow gate,” Jesus instructed in Matthew 7:13. “For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” I’m trying to follow the narrow road, and I hope to see you there, too.