Why do we need Jesus?
When the first parents of the human race preferred themselves to the point of contempt for God by choosing to disobey his command, they separated themselves and all of their offspring from God. However, God did not abandon the human race to the power of sin, death and the devil, instead he promised a direct intervention in history to overturn the venomous attack of the serpent. This intervention is brought to its culmination in the incarnation, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
the fall wasn’t just a ‘we tripped over our feet, fell down and we stand back up again, of no consequence to anyone else’. The fall was a free choice made against the will of God AND it’s consequence damaged our relationship with God. That choice didn’t only cause a consequence with our relationship with God, but also with one another. We see that today in the choices we continue to make. We can be quick to think, if I was in Adam or Eve’s position I would never have listened to the snake, I would have been faithful to God. Hindsight is a beautiful thing. Yet… how many times a day do we choose against God? How many times do we fail, and fall? None of us a perfect. We all do it, and part of that is our freedom to choose, the other is the impact of the fall creating in us a tendency towards sin (away from God) that we have to actively work against each day. This is the importance of Baptism for we Christians. It brings us a supernatural life which helps us in our fight against concupiscence.
One of the questions that always bugged me was this question of Why did Jesus have to suffer and die for our sin? God is God. Why couldn’t he have just snapped his fingers and made it all go away? I remember asking this question of a guy I was dating. I remember saying to him, i’m doing the faith but it’s hard because I just don’t get why a God would send his only son to suffer like that, when he’s God and he could have just found another method, surely? He wasn’t able to give me an adequate answer, even when he came back with an answer I just didn’t get it. It was on me to pursue that question, and i didn’t. I just accepted this was probably one of the many things about the faith i’d perhaps never come to understand. Over time, my relationship with Jesus grew and I had so many other things to work through that i Just forgot that was even a question I once had.
God could have saved us with a click of his fingers. However the most fitting way he could save us was the manner through the incarnation. It is supremely fitting that justice be fulfilled – that which was ruined ought to be restored by the one who ruined it. Since we were unable to restore our original innocence, God did it for us by becoming one of us. And since God is not only supremely just but also, supremely merciful and loving, he did not simply restore what was lost. Instead he went beyond what was lost – making us adoptive sons of the Father through him. This is why Jesus give us the sacrament of baptism – to participate in this marvelous relationship.
Of course, None of us are perfect, even with baptism. God is a just God, and in the fall, our turning away from God demands justice be restored. Only a perfect sacrifice would be sufficient to redeem us from our disconnect, and sinful state, and reunite us to God. We are not capable of such a sacrifice. The only one that is perfect is God. Which is why God himself would need to become man, to become one of us in every way BUT sin, to suffer and die for us, to save us and reunite us with God. But not only that, to then give us a new identity of adopted sons and daughters of God, through becoming brothers and sisters in Christ.
In light of that, knowing that Easter is coming. The season that’s carved out annually where we remember the passion and death of Jesus who was one of us, AND also God… we get to choose how we prepare for this high point in our lives. It’s a privileged position really. If I close my eyes for a moment and dare to put myself next to Mary, the Mother of God, at the foot of the Cross on calvary, my heart would break based on what I know now of what was transpiring, and I’m still not ready for it. I wonder how many were ready at that time? Was Mary Magdalen truly ready to watch her Lord be nailed to the cross? Was John ready to watch his best friend, abandoned by all others, take his last breath? I don’t know. And perhaps I never truly will be prepared for what happened at calvary and happens at every mass, but every year in a special way we’re afforded the opportunity to become a little more prepared, a little deeper in our faith, a little closer in our relationship with God. That’s what Lent is for, to prepare….
Too often we talk about Lent like it’s the 40days (not including Sundays) before Easter that is the worst. The most drab, the most difficult and draining. Burdensome and an inconvenience. But when we put it in the context of salvation, all of a sudden Lent is a gift in itself. What gratitude we can have, and ought to have for this time. Those who walked with Jesus when he was on this earth, they didn’t have the whole picture in front of them like we do. (We still dont have the whole picture – not til heaven!) They lived it one day at a time with faith, hope and trust. We know how the story goes here. We know there’s a resurrection, we don’t have to hope for that, we know. So we have absolutely No Reason to lose joy during Lent.
A penitential season
This is a penitential season which, far from being devoid of joy, is actually filled with joy, because it is a season to prepare for the joy of knowing Jesus! To take time as we approach the high point of the calendar, to shed the things that are less than worthy of Jesus. We ought to see this season as an opportunity to shed those things that lead us to our vices and sins. Maybe that means doubling down effort and strategies to overcome sins like taking our Lord’s name in vain, or doing unnecessary work on Sundays, or maybe we have a problem with lust or envy etc. But it also means coming up with strategies to overcome our vices that aren’t necessarily a sin… maybe we spend too much time binging, or maybe we don’t take enough care of our bodies. Lent isn’t just about what we’re giving up, it’s about who we’re recommitting to being Lord of our ENTIRE lives, not just during morning and night prayer, or on a Sunday or when we’re in church. But ordering our entire lives. We should also seek to give up good things as well. Perhaps we like coffee, or sugar, or a tv program. These things can be excellent things. But we should give them up as well in order to train our hearts to prefer the greatest good (God) to lesser (albeit authentic) goods.
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Stina – Starting a new Job and getting to decorate my office to make it my own. Creative