“Does anyone give a damn?” Who hasn’t heard or voiced those words? The word damn, as an adjective, is used to emphasize anger and frustration. Even Lauren Daigle sings “Where are You now when darkness seems to win? Where are You now when the world is crumbling?”
That leads to asking, does God really care? To really answer that question adequately, I believe, you have to read “all” of the Old Testament. Yeah, there’s a lot to chew on, but it’s hard to defend something you haven’t read.
Talk about bending over backwards. In an effort to show His people that “Yes” God does care, He spoke through leaders (like Moses and Joshua) and Judges and Kings and Prophets, so His people would know how to live a blessed life. If that wasn’t enough, He performed miracles in real-time in front of skeptics and believers. Did man follow and obey God as a result? The answer is “No.” The stiff-necked Israelites turned away from God. They would come back to Him, but then walk backwards to their sin. The point of the Old Testament is that man cannot follow God. Man needs a Savior.
In the New Testament, God became a person in Jesus Christ. He took on what we could never take on: the punishment for our sin. Jesus became our sin on the cross. He crossed over our horizontal sinful humanity with a vertical love. No, you can’t make this stuff up!
You also can’t get away from the cross. When parts of the the Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire on April 15, 2019, one picture of the aftermath, showed the cross, which stood above the rubble, the trash and the destruction from the fire. Love crossed over. When I was taking a shower one day, I looked down and part of the white paint had come off of the tan-colored grout. There amongst the steam was a perfectly shaped cross. Was that by chance? About this time, every year on White Oak Mountain, in Ringgold, Georgia a man lights up a huge cross at the top of that mountain. Love crosses over.
In the very last movie that Billy Graham appeared in, called The Cross, he said the cross is offensive to people. The cross says to the world, “You are a sinner.” In 1st Corinthians, Paul says, “The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction!” (1:18a, NLT) Before that verse, Paul said, “And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins.” (1:17) God gives us a choice to accept or reject Him. He did not make us robots. He gave us a free will. In your life, you “will” respond to that invitation one way or the other. No room for grey. Acts 2:21 provides hope, “But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (NLT) That’s why we say “HAPPY EASTER!”
pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon” except for pictures of fist and man on mountain from Pexels and picture of Notre Dame Cathedral from Christophe Petit Tesson.