04/02/2018 in: Food for Thoughton
On Sunday at church, I was across the room from my son. He started running toward me, which any parent will attest is a great moment. While there are times he has run all the way to me, grinning ear to ear and laughing, today was different. He got part of the way, stopped, and broke into tears with arms stretched out to me.
GOD, THE FATHER
Which got me thinking, isn’t this how we are before God, the Father? Throughout history, religions have been built upon an idea that, with enough work, we are able to reach god. We live by the rules, meditate, and strive to “better ourselves”. Even in a Biblical context, we are consumed by the law and making ourselves worthy. We define our lives around practices that we hope make us holy. We do all this to earn standing before our god, to cross the “great divide“. Sometimes, this might appear to work. We find success and prosperity, admiration of other believers, or pride in our accomplishments.
THE INFINITE DIVIDE
However, the gap between imperfect man and an infinitely, perfect God is, by definition, infinite. No matter how many steps we take, how hard we work, or how “good” we are, the divide is still infinite. And this isn’t just something we can see through the lens of the New Testament. The writer of Ecclesiastes knew that “all is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 12:8) David wrote in Psalm 14, “the children of man…have all turned aside…there is none who does good, not even one.” Paul quotes this in Romans 3, adding “for by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight.” Justification requires crossing the infinite void, and we simply cannot.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” — Ephesians 2:4-6
We are infinitely separated from our God, and every step we can take will not get us any closer. But God’s love is infinite, and therefore infinitely capable of bridging the divide. From before the foundations of Earth and time, God chose to demonstrate his “great love,” by giving his Son to be the offering for sin, and we get to share in that righteousness.
BRIDGING THE DIVIDE
Paul goes on to add, “it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Our own efforts do not get us anywhere. Just like my son, we eventually have no recourse except to throw our arms open and, in faith, cry out to God. And just as I didn’t leave him to “buck up and try harder,” our God has not left us to work and earn a place with Him. He pursued us to the cross. In so doing, He has made us alive and “seated us with him in the heavenly places.”
We were infinitely separated from an infinite God. But in His great love, He is bridging the divide and drawing us to Himself.
Does this topic remind you of any other passages of Scripture? Share in the comments below!
This blog was written by Adam Hewitt, Sr App Developer at Olive Tree