A moral blank check

We are entering the time of year when one of the world’s three religions celebrates what it purports to be the single greatest event in history: the incarnation of its God. Other religions have similar doctrines, but nothing like that of Christianity.

The God of Christianity exists in three persons, not three gods, but one who exists with three distinct personalities because, as one person put it, we couldn’t take God all at once if we tried. This God presented himself in flesh, humbled himself to the same existence that we all live: diapers, teething, learning to walk, the awkwardness of puberty until the age of 30, when he presented himself to the world as an itinerant preacher, in a backwater region of the world. The writers who knew him and took time to record his story tell us of his gentle, yet forthright nature, that he didn’t just come to tell us about something, but to do something for us: that as the God who made us, who has every right to dictate our existence, instead gave us essentially a moral blank check, with the instruction that the check would always be good if written to fulfill the basic requirements of God. But in pride, man took that blank check and wrote it for things outside of his purview, in an attempt to make himself arbiter of all things, and the check bounced, the difference is now our responsibility.

The problem is that rather than trying to make amends for the overdraft, in pride, we run away. Oh, we might try to bank something to the account, but the fees and interest consume it and eventually man becomes totally bankrupt morally and either completely gives up in depravity or hopes for some means to reconcile the account. As much as God wants to forgive the debt, he is unable, someone has to pay the bill, so he decided to pay it himself by sending his Son in the form of man, who being fully human, with all of its weaknesses, was fully God to live a life that accumulated no debt in the form of sin, and, in our self-righteous judgment, we rejected him, though he did not reject us, suffered, bled and died, thus paying the debt in full for all mankind who would accept it. Believers in that fact, those who profess Christ as not only Savior, but Lord and God, celebrate his arrival in Christmas, knowing that 33 years later, he would settle the debt we owed through a humiliating death on a Roman cross. He was born to die, died that we might live, and was raised to insure a promise that all who believe in Him and are faithful to him will receive his reward.

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