09 December, 2013

Fighting Sin with Sin: Why Jesus Had to Die and Rise Again

The one thing that sets true Christianity, where people trust fully in Jesus (the true relationship with Him that Jesus wants us to have) instead of just stopping at learning about Him (religion), apart from everything else out there — and I can certainly understand this now — is this rendency to actually turn away from, instead of draw towards, our natural instinct: fighting sin with sin.

Jesus gets this very clear, straight to the point, in fact, in Matthew 12:26: "If Satan casts out Satan, his house is divided. How then will his kingdom stand?" Remember, He says this in response to a remark by the scribes and Pharisees putting down a miracle He performed, casting out demons from someone. Well, guess what? If Satan divided against Satan can't stand, then sin divided against sin can't stand either.

See, sin is sin. Whether it's lust, wrath, envy, gluttony, greed, sloth, or pride, it's all sin, and as sin, it affects not just your own life but that of everyone around you. Yet ever too often, what's our natural instinctive reaction to someone sinning against us? Lash out in return. Turn around and beat the $#!@ out of someone who tries to steal a GF/BF. Pull out a gun in response to someone showing a fist or pulling a knife. What's that doing? Exactly what I initially mentioned: fighting sin with sin.

See, when this happens, it creates a vicious cycle. It starts with some sin, some curse word, some unclean act, that someone takes offense to, and leads to fighting, and fighting back, and fighting back, ad infinitum, creating an endless cycle of sin that could only be stopped by the entry of Jesus, and most importantly of the Holy Spirit, into this world.

What's good now, when we can finally see this, is that there is hope. Jesus first and foremost died and rose again to give us hope, to let us know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but also to show us how to act if sinned against: don't sin in return. Guess what that does? It breaks the sinful cycle.

See, even Pontius Pilate, historically seen as one of the most sadistic Roman governors of Judea to ever be appointed, enough to even make those Romans higher than him take notice and remove him from office for brutality a couple of years after the 42-day span of Jesus' death, resurrection, and ascension, did not find anything wrong with Jesus whatsoever. Not one thing. Everyone, Jews and Romans alike, we're expecting Jesus to lash out in return. But He didn't. He kept quiet

If He did lash out, He would actually have fallen into the temptations of this world that He really stood far away from. But no! He knew that by dying and rising again, the world would finally see all along that the sinful cycle that plagues this world by turning people against each other would be broken. Which it can be, if we just follow in His lead.