I haven’t always been a disciple of Jesus. Needless to say I’ve done more than my share of wrong — I’m still a work in progress.
Way back in my senior high years my friends and I drove from the small town of Vanderhoof to, what we saw as, the big city of Prince George looking for a party. We found what we were looking for. An 18-year-old girl, whose family was away, got the bright idea to throw a party. By the time my friends and I arrived, the inside of the house was damaged beyond repair, at least before her parents and siblings would return. I can only imagine how they would feel upon their return!
We typically don’t realize it, but this story is symptomatic of a greater, much deeper, ubiquitous problem: moral evil, the bad things we do to one another and our world every day (racism, greed, etc.). Moral evil is by far our biggest and most painful problem, even more than natural evil (earthquakes, cancer, etc.).
Seeing we usually miss connecting the dots from the micro issue of a house-wrecking party to our bigger problems, we need to ask the question: Why is our world in such a disastrous mess?
The Bible provides a clear answer in Isaiah 53:6: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned — every one — to his own way….”
The tragic reality is that we are estranged from our God and his ways, and the consequence is that we are making a dreadful mess of the world God originally made to be very good (Genesis 1:31, Romans 1:28-32, 3:23). Sadly, living on our own terms, we all play our part in one way or another.
Quoting the French mathematician and philosopher, Blaise Pascal, the late theologian, J. I. Packer, wrote: “It may fairly be claimed that the Fall narrative gives the only convincing explanation of the perversity of human nature that the world has ever seen. Pascal said that the doctrine of original sin seems an offence to reason, but once accepted it makes total sense of the entire human condition.” (Concise Theology)
Be not dismayed nor hardened! The second half of Isaiah 53:6 prophesied the astounding good news of Jesus, “… and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
The key is, when we face our issue for what it is — alienation from God, we can know his solution — redemption in Jesus.
Robin Martens is the pastor of Kinnaird Park Community Church