The Light of God’s Love in 3-D (Lent 18, 2017)

Depending on who you talk to and their love or hatred of God, the actions of God get filtered by our faith.  Some people blame God for everything bad and don’t give Him credit for anything good.  Then there are others who give God credit for everything good, but for some reason don’t want to give God credit for the bad stuff too. 

Why is that?

Scripture says God does both. 

(Aaaaiieeee!  And all the good little Christians throw up their hands and get confused.)  Hold your fire.  There’s an answer. 

But first we must acknowledge this truth:

I form the light and create darkness,  I bring prosperity and create disaster;    I, the LORD, do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7)

All the way back at Creation, God created Light.  There’s Nothing Like ItBut when He created light, He also separated it out from what was “not light” and that was darkness (what God eventually called ”night”).

Genesis 1:3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning– the first day.

When God creates (or brings) something defined as prosperity, whatever is “not prosperity” can be separated out and defined as disaster.  In some respects, it’s like an empty category that—on this side of the fall of man—gets filled automatically with what comes naturally to a sinful world.  It probably isn’t called default for nothing <cue vaudeville rimshot>.

But even that doesn’t let God off the hook.  People don’t want to see God as anything besides a God of love.  But He’s also a God of justice and a just God can’t love people and allow to go unpunished all that bad stuff that happens to his beloved ones.  The Christian sees God through these two simultaneous lenses, like polarizing filters, and the image we’re left with is the Cross.  It is there that God showed His love and His wrath simultaneously.  God revealed Himself in 3-D.

Fun fact of light:  3-D films. According to the Physics Classroom,Polarization is also used in the entertainment industry to produce and show 3-D movies. Three-dimensional movies are actually two movies being shown at the same time through two projectors …The movies are projected through a polarizing filter.”

For further thought:  The BBC has a great video explaining 3-D filmsIt’s a fantastic analogy for stereoscopic vision which helps us to visualize how God can show love and wrath at the same time.  How He can bring light and darkness, prosperity and disaster into real life on this side of the Cross.  Yet, to the Christian’s mind, the images just get processed together as God’s redemptive nature.

  • How does God make even the bad stuff redemptive? 
  • For insight, read Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 

Thank You, Jesus, for displaying the Image of God perfectly on the Cross!  Fully God.  Fully Man. Fully Love.  Full wrath against sin.  Complete humanity.  Complete sacrifice.  Complete justice.  We could not see the light before Your resurrection, but now, LORD, grant that we would never minimize our sin, we would never diminish Your gift of love and mercy, and that we would never try to make You a god of our own designing.  Help us to submit under Your mighty hand and to repent of our sin which grieves You.  May we walk in righteousness for Your Name’s sake and for Your glory.  You alone are God.  Amen.


Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 20, 2017

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