Friday, March 29, 2013

Disdaining the Cross on Good Friday?

I tried to sleep in a bit this morning, but the usual arthritic pain in my back had me out of bed and up with my cup of coffee watching Fox & Friends. One would hope that on Good Friday—the weekend of Resurrection Day—one could see something uplifting about the hope of Jesus and the Resurrection. Although FNC is a secular network, they are typically more respectful of traditional values than their other mainstream counterparts.

Instead, I had to watch an interview with the author of the controversial book "The Shack," who tried to wax eloquent on Easter, Christ, the Resurrection, and thoroughly bungled the job in my humble opinion. I shouldn't have been surprised, since the serious theological, biblical problems with "The Shack" have been well documented by Bible-believing, Bible-preaching, biblical scholars since its release. But I still almost threw a piece of firewood through the television, especially after one line:

"The cross was not God's plan."

Excuse me? Is there perhaps a little remedial biblical education required here? The Lamb "slain from the foundation of the world" was not God's plan?!? God's redemption of His people through the willing sacrifice of His Son was in the works before creation, according to God's own Word. The death, burial and resurrection of Christ is central to the whole Christian faith. In fact, the Apostle Paul—under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit—expounds at length on the resurrection, the cross and why it matters. He said if it wasn't true, then "we are of all men most to be pitied." (1 Corinthians 15:19). Let's see what God's Word has to say in even more plain, between the eyes truth:

"But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death."

That quote is from 1 Corinthians 15:12-26. It really can't be any plainer. And there are more Scriptures I can cite showing the centrality of GOD'S PLAN FROM THE BEGINNING.

Again, I shouldn't have been surprised. We are in an age of deception and judgment, and it shouldn't be any surprise that the enemy has false teachers by the score out to mess people up on the most important spiritual truth in God's Word. But it still infuriates me. False teachers will be held accountable, according to God. They'd better be afraid. Very afraid indeed.

But let me end on a more upbeat note. Those tombstones pictured above? One day, the dead in Christ will hear His voice and the sound of the trumpet, and they will rise again as Christ rose again. Resurgam! Praise His holy name!

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