Letter: 'Be good for goodness sake?'
In Post-Christian America, many of us will be observing what has long been regarded as Holy Week. We were reminded last Sunday of Christ's triumphant ride into Jerusalem where the crowds, welcomed him with jubilant shouts, "Hosanna (O Save), blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" By Thursday, that same fickle crowd, was shouting, "Crucify him!"
History tells us, they did, indeed, crucify Him, and then the wait till Sunday morning, when a few of His faithful disciples, were jolted in their grief when the women returned from the tomb declaring, "He is alive!"
I realize many of you are probably musing, "I know that, get to your point!" Well, here it is: I've been reading of late that a group of atheists have been hanging up signs in Europe and here in America that say, "Why believe in God? Just be GOOD for GOODNESS sake!" If only that were possible.
When caught in a misdeed, my three-year old granddaughter understands more about human nature than these folks. To avoid discipline, she has often said, "I want to be nice!" Don't we all? That's why Christ's victory is so sweet!
In our struggle against sin (that inherent evil within that makes us naughty even when we want to be nice), most of us have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. However, for the joy set before him our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and is now sitting down at the right hand of the throne of God. He died that we might live, and ironically, in so doing, he answered the cry of the Jerusalem crowd, "He who came to seek and save the lost, did so, on the cross.
My exhortation to all of you is that you might not be as the rich young ruler, who asked Jesus (God in the flesh), "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" (Luke 18:18-29) and then missed it because he could not understand that "what is impossible with man is possible with God!" Being "good for goodness sake" did not fulfill the requirement then, and it still won't. What then is necessary?
"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved -- you and your household." (Acts 16:31)
May you shout this Sunday with the faithful, "He is alive!" And if someone asks, "How do you know?" Tell them, because He lives in me! -- Mickey Okeson, Detroit Lakes