Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Majestic Simplicity

II Cor.11:3 - But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtility, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

There it stands. In the center of man's history and camouflaged as just another event. The cross. Surely it must include some riddle or secret code that one must uncover to see its true meaning. It must have some transmitted biological effect that changes the molecular structure of mankind. There must be some level of understanding that challenges and exalts the intellect of man.

The only door to eternal life being a dead Jew on a Roman cross so insults the intellect of man that he illegally invades its simplicity and renders it "made like to corruptible man" which is death, not life. Today the preacher Adam wants to clothe the cross with coats of his own skin, stinking of his own flesh and obscuring the holy and complete offering of God Himself. And acting as a Spiritual tour guide Adam departs from the Father's manual and describes the crucifixion in enticing words of his own wisdom. Adam doesn't believe people will understand the simplicity and trans-generational Words of the Father's description, so he develops his own human composition that is much easier to understand and much more palatable to his earthly tourists. And so many more people take the tour and respond positively that Adam is sure his way is better. After all, the other invisible tour guide seemed to rely so strictly on the Father's Word that throngs of people were turned off, even if His name was called Truth.

Now Adam had some great ideas about how to get people to come on this tour. He promised them money, health, success, and anything else they seemed to desire. Hordes of people crowded his tour bus in response to all the wonderful promises and there was something there for everyone. Now as the bus passed the cross Adam would draw their attention away from the blood and agony, and when some riders ask what is the meaning of this spectacle, Adam replies that it means you can now fully enjoy your earthly life and live it with a purpose. The bus would explode with self centered applause. In place of the "Please don't talk to the driver" sign is a "please don't talk about sin" sign.

The church, NOT THE WORLD, the church has stripped the meaning of the cross in all its redemptive simplicity. In the Redemptive Gallery is one and only one painting, the Crimson Masterpiece displayed under the perfect light of the Holy Spirit. And all who hear the Caretaker call, and stand before this vision, can never move away from it. Oh, one day as I was perusing through my own gallery of humanistic pastels, and I heard a call. It came from inside a gallery I never knew existed. That call came from within me and its voice was louder than those on the outside, and I found myself standing directly in front of the most bloody, gruesome, and yet beautiful masterpiece I had ever seen. I had seen copies, but this was the original in all its radiance and I fell to my knees under the weight of my own sin. And as I again gazed upon its repulsive beauty I desired to know and follow the artist who painted this unique Crimson Masterpiece. The same voice that had beckoned me there revealed in unspoken Words that this was a self portrait. The Figure on the cross was indeed the Author and Finisher of the Masterpiece itself with all its eternal and redemptive colors.

I know I have put my journey in a metaphoric narrative, but how many today could even understand whereof I speak much less identify with the Masterpiece that changed my eternity? Look what the King suffered for us and look what we've done to His cross. The church has become ashamed with this magnificent simplicity, and like Israel we want a king like the heathen. One that will be respected, one that we can be proud of, and one that the world will accept. Repent - repent - repent. Let us shout it loudly from the housetops that Jesus is Lord; let us preach it constantly and clearly that Jesus is Lord; Let us wear His identity as the greatest, humble honor that could ever be given us. Not just His coming again, not just His power, not just His glory. Let us wear the mantle of Embracers of the cross!

There is no way to make it relevant without tarnishing it with the dirt of this world. It stands for eternity in a Holy vacuum in all its



luvvom said...

I think your narrative was beautiful. It is horrible to see the heresy in the church. I would like to see people either come out of the church or stand up and shout the truth and run the heretics out. I didn't get who Adam was though...who is he?

JT333 said...

Unfortunately, I know Adam only too well. God is using your posts to purge the dross. Don't hold back. We are listening...

luvvom said...

Adam...the old man. I don't remember anyone using him in place of "the old man"...sorry I'm a little slow sometimes!

Stuart Brogden said...

Press on, PTL Rick. Far too many churches are becoming cultural social clubs, making sure none of the goats are offended. A beautiful silver cross as jewelry is fine, but the old rugged cross with my sins nailing the savior to it, bloodied and ugly - far be it for "sensitive" churches to celebrate that!