Part 5 – To turn our disaster into joy
Our human potential was amazing in the beginning, but it soon turned into a disaster when evil got a foothold in our heads.
But the Father had a plan of salvation that would take the utterly unsalvageable and restore it, and in so doing turn our disaster into joy. It would be like restoring a mouldy banana or a rusted piece of metal to its original pristine condition, when the rot and rust are so bad it’s impossible to salvage anything. But God takes the unsalvageable and restores it to its original beauty, by taking upon himself (as the human Jesus) the suffering and death we brought on ourselves and transforming them into joy. That’s the marvel of God, but how does it work? How can disaster be turned into joy?
As a grandparent, I got a little glimpse of how this works when our 5 year old granddaughter broke one of our dishes. It was beyond repair and she was devastated. She fell on the floor, crying her eyes out. I got down on the floor with her, hugged her tightly and said, “Cheer up, all is forgiven!” It had a magical effect on her. She stopped crying, looked up at me and said, “OK,” and off she went, happy and free. From an unsalvageable disaster to joy. What a marvellous transformation it was.
How did it happen? By the same process Jesus transformed our unsalvageable mess into joy – by absorbing the pain and penalty of our sin into himself, just like I absorbed the cost of the dish, and my granddaughter’s pain. And what was her reaction? Instant relief, peace of mind and joy. I imagine she could hardly believe her luck. Here she was sitting in a pile of broken dish parts being hugged – and at no cost whatsoever to her either. She was forgiven, loved and free to go.
Which is exactly what God does with us. We bring all this suffering and death on ourselves but God comes as Jesus and doesn’t hold any of it against us (2 Corinthians 5:19), nor does he expect us to pay for what we’ve done. He absorbs it all himself.
How can you not want to hug a God like that? But that’s exactly what he’s after, a hug. A hug of relief, peace of mind and joy on our part when we realize God knew our pain, shared every bit of it himself, and absorbed the cost of all our disastrous behaviour in himself, so we’d know we’re forgiven, fully loved, and free again to fulfill our potential…(continues tomorrow)