Well, this has been a labor of
love ADD. Granted, I let an awesome friend* borrow Love Wins for a week or so, but I’ve had other things I wanted to put pen to computer.
Rob Bell’s chapter 5 in Love Wins is titled “Dying to Live.” And this chapter holds the biggest, most shocking revelation about Rob Bell’s thoughts in the entire book.
He likes Eminem.
Didn’t see that one coming, did ya?
Here’s the gyst of chapter five. The cross is ubiquitous in our culture for because it points to something that every human being conciously or subconciously, willingly or unwillingly admits: they want to be on good terms with the God/god/gods/universe. Cultures and religions for thousands of years looked to sacrificing animals in order to settle an account with God/god(s)/universe because of sin. So when Jesus sacrifices Himself for sins, I wonder if the Jewish Christ followers looked around and kinda thought to themselves, “…Uh, well, what do we do now?”
Actually, I think that it was probably a load off of their minds. A huge, ancient burden lifted. Beyond that, a mind-blowing concept that has revolutionized civilizations. Think about it, a teaching that permeates your heritage to all of a sudden be turned on it’s head and fulfilled/wiped clean.
And I have no idea what that feels like.
Which is why I don’t think I truly understand Jesus’ sacrifice as much as Jewish folks did who had this sacrificial system that imprints their existence. Even today, Jewish folks refer to this sacrificial stuff being in their spiritual DNA.
Back to Love Wins, the act of the cross is cosmic in scope. Through the cross, God is restoring, reconciling, and redeeming the universe back to God. There is so much more going on in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross AND resurrection (they cannot be separated) than paying off our sin debt. To quote our buddy Rob:
Is the cross about the end of the sacrificial system or a broken relationship that’s been reconciled or a guilty defendant who’s been set free or a battle that’s been won or the redeeming of something that was lost?
That is why the cross continues to endure. It’s a reminder, a sign, a glimpse, an icon that allows us to tap into our deepest longings to be a part of a new creation.
Thanks for doing more than what it looked like you did on that cross, Jesus. ‘Cause from here, a lot of people thought you blew it. And for those of us who (kinda, as much as we can wrap our brains around this cosmic thing you pulled off) believe it’s as big as You and Scripture claim, we prolly fail LOADS of times to communicate this. When we boil it down to just taking care of our sin junk, I think that we rob the cross of the vast meaning this event has.
*Here’s her blog: http://explodingsoul.wordpress.com/