What if you were a pastor, and you allowed a friend to fill your pulpit on a certain Sunday. And lets say this person, instead of preaching a sermon, spit, ranted and raged all over the stage? How would you feel? A little uncomfortable?
What if instead of presenting a well reasoned argument from scripture, he kept screaming, "Crucify! Crucify! Crucify!"? How would you feel? A bit repelled by his audacious display?
And what if he came down off stage pointing fingers, and then after the end of a long exhausting presentation he hugged a 5 foot wooden cross weeping saying, "I love you man!"? A bit strange, maybe too much of a personal display of affection (PDA) for what was supposed to be a calm Sunday morning service?
Uncomfortable, Repelled, feeling it was a very strange and an out of place display. That, my friends, is exactly what God intends you to feel whenever you are to consider his Son being slaughtered on a cross. It is meant to be ugly and audacious.
I read an article this morning about a book that just came out concerning a female reporter who resigned her position working for CBS news. She was not respected or wanted by her company any longer. The reason? She was unreasonable! (here is an article promoting her autobiography)
"When the longtime CBS reporter asked for details about reinforcements sent to the Benghazi compound during the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack, White House national security spokesman Tommy Vietor replied, “I give up, Sharyl . . . I’ll work with more reasonable folks that follow up, I guess.”Another White House flack, Eric Schultz, didn’t like being pressed for answers about the Fast and Furious scandal in which American agents directed guns into the arms of Mexican drug lords. “G__________t, Sharyl!” he screamed at her. “The Washington Post is reasonable, the LA Times is reasonable, The New York Times is reasonable. You’re the only one who’s not reasonable!”
In nearly 20 years at CBS News, she has done many stories attacking Republicans and corporate America, and she points out that TV news, being reluctant to offend its advertisers, has become more and more skittish about, for instance, stories questioning pharmaceutical companies or car manufacturers.
Working on a piece that raised questions about the American Red Cross disaster response, she says a boss told her, “We must do nothing to upset our corporate partners . . . until the stock splits.” (Parent company Viacom and CBS split in 2006)."
In the same way people that wanted Sharyl to be reasonable; the outside world wants Christians to be reasonable. We are not to make the world feel uncomfortable, we are to reasonable and accepting. We are expected to look the other way at sin. We are to be nice. Don't call a spade a spade, don't voice your opinion in the public square, don't cause waves. Be reasonable!
Have you ever read the book "A Portrait of Dorian Gray?" It is a fascinating novel by Oscar Wilde about a man who sold his soul to the Devil. He wanted to stay young and healthy, and so the Devil agreed to allow him to have his wish in exchange for his soul. There was one condition to this deal; a portrait that was painted of Dorian would reflect the outside and inside state of his soul. As the man grew old and every time he sinned the portrait would age and decay. Dorian couldn't stand to see the damage done to the portrait so one day he hid it in the attic never to see it again. But alas, after many years he was chased up to attic with a gun by a man who hated him; he was shot under the portrait and the state of the portrait was so hideous that Dorian was more in fear of the picture than he was at the man who came to kill him.
When you look to the cross, you are looking at your very own "Portrait of Dorian Gray." It says in Isaiah 52:14, "As many were astonished (uncomfortable, repelled, disturbed) at you - his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind." We could not look upon him, because his disfiguring was caused by our sinning.
The cross is meant to shock. Your sin is shocking. You are never meant to be comfortable living in it.
So...why don't you stop it?