I recently had the opportunity to witness the birth of a friendship-breach followed by a harmonious reconciliation (all in the course of fifteen minutes).
Two four-year-old girls, one spunky and one touched with some sassy, were playing in my livingroom. As the girls entertained themselves, I noticed an ignition of indignation over the ownership of their toys. What started as a slow burn of fury quickly blazed into a fierce flare-up. This led to a boiling (yet quite entertaining) exchange of words.
I’m not your friend no more!
Then you can’t come to my birthday party!
Since your party is at my house, maybe you won’t be there, but I will!
Not if you’re not my friend no more!
Just as I hurriedly arrived from the kitchen eager to toast my marshmallows by this blazing fire, the flames were extinguished with the swift intervention of Spunky’s mom. Shortly afterwards, the girls forgot their vow to be friends “no more” as the glowing embers of friendship warmly welcomed a more peaceful playtime. Sassy even re-invited Spunky to her party at Spunky’s house.
Even if you’ve never tended the fire of small friends’ feuds, you are certainly familiar with the fissures of friendship. In fact, I hope you are aware of the greatest breach which involves the chasm made by sin between God and man.
There is a great need for reconciliation, as this division has a much more colossal consequence than that of a quarrel between four-year-olds. The punishment for this breach is eternal damnation, which is a bit heavier than the discipline from Spunky’s mom.
Here’s the problem: it’s the heredity of sin that causes the offense. We cannot even begin to solve that problem. That’s not as easy as re-inviting a friend to my party at her house. How do we change something we inherited?
But, thankfully, here’s the solution:
Now everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ; certain that God is appealing through us, we plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.”
He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:18-21)
Someone has come as our Mediator to reconcile us to God and remove the breach (similar to Spunky’s mom reuniting Sassy with her daughter; but, in this instance, a pure Mediator with a remarkably better and more complete reconciliation). That Someone is God’s very own Son, Jesus.
As Oswald Chambers explained,
The revealed truth of the Bible is not that Jesus Christ took on Himself our fleshly sins, but that He took on Himself the heredity of sin that no man can even touch.
God made His own Son “to be sin” that He might make the sinner into a saint.
He placed salvation for the entire human race solely on the basis of redemption. Jesus Christ reconciled the human race, putting it back to where God designed it to be.
Now, that is Good News from our standpoint! Someone has made a way where there was no way. And now anyone can be brought into oneness with God on the basis of what Jesus Christ has done on the cross.
And because my life more often resembles a noisy quarrel than a peaceful retreat by a crackling campfire (roasting marshmallows), the best news of all for me is that I cannot redeem myself. Putting that responsiblity in my hands would be a certain disaster. Thankfully, the redemption was completed by Christ on the cross.
Nevertheless, just as Sassy and Spunky had to respond to the offer of bringing harmony into their relationship, we have to respond to the revealed truth of redemption, accepting the ultimate Sacrificial Lamb as our only means of bridging the gap our inheritance of sin created between us and our Father.
If you’ve avoided this decision, consider the tremendous consequence of your disregard for the invitation to cross the great divide, for it is much weightier than the punishment given for quarrelling with a friend.
As senseless as it seems for four-year-olds to quarrel and create division with I’m not your friend no more!, how much more foolish is it for us to comfortably ignore a breach with the One who has always sought a relationship among those He died to save?
- The Bent Of Regeneration – Daily Devotion By Oswald Chambers (gospelbondservant.com)
- Reconciliation – Daily Devotion By Oswald Chambers (gospelbondservant.com)
- Holy As He Is Holy… (satisfiedbylove.wordpress.com)