Tag Archives: Sin

Unclothed Christ to Clothe Us!


Ujjwal Rai
Ujjwal Rai

 

“Then the eyes of both of them opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” Genesis 3:7

In the course of time, I have realized that I never have a straight forward answer to people who inquire about my ethnicity. There is a shame somewhere in my heart of  not being like the ancestors – descending from the same bloodline. There are normally two things that I do in response: either I try to prove I am alike even though my profile is not or I hastily say that there is no such thing in order to deprecate the existence of ethnicity. If you weigh my both responses, you will find how strongly I struggle with the shame and want to cover up by any means. And distressingly, I am not alone! Whether you believer it or not, everyone struggles with a shame and ironically is capable of formulating new ways to cover it up just like me.

God never created us with a shame. But, as soon as Adam and Eve violated God’s command, “You may freely eat fruit from every tree of the orchard, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will surely die.” The Bible says, “..they knew they were naked.” It was not merely seeing each other naked and saying, oops! It was greatly intense and devastating, because they fell in the state where they never belonged to due to their rebellious act. (C.S. Lewis’ idea.) As a result, they started hiding from God when He visited them. They were absolutely ashamed of their poignant situation. His creation can live with dignity only with Him but now they were not with Him and so were we once.

Then what happened? They sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Here we can see their strong desire that resulted in active action to live with dignity again, however, sadly not the way God intended.  They acted out to cover their shame as though they can do it on their own, but they never realized the gravity of shame they had brought upon them.

Today, we, in fact, do the same thing what they did to cover our shame.  We sew fig leaves to make coverings for ourselves. We do so either by doing good works inside the church in order to feel good about ourselves and preserve our dignity or totally denouncing the existence of God, so that I may not feel shame of my lifestyle. However, the Bible makes it clear that either way is not going to help us at all! Then, is there any other way around at all?

Our God never wants to see us living with shame forever and knows, at the same time, that we can never restore ourselves to dignity. He, therefore, sent His son to restore us back to Him, so we can live with dignity. Now, we just need to put our faith in Jesus Christ who was stripped of his robe, became nude on the cross and whose shame was exposed to the whole world so that our shame is covered once but forever.

So the real question is: Do we want to believe in Christ and live with dignity or ever find ourselves in the shame treadmill? Choice is yours!

The author is a M.Div student in Calvin Theological Seminary. You may follow him in his Facebook page

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No More Animal Sacrifice… But Redeemed by the Blood of Jesus


“Who is Jesus?” This question has always generated different sorts of answers or debates throughout the history. Many people had to say different things about who Jesus was and is. That is to say, he was a god to a guru; he was a mere lunatic to moral teacher. Some go even farther to deny him his historical existence. Even Jesus was interested to know what his disciples thought who he was (Matthew 16:15). I leave these topics for some other days to discuss but want to focus on Jesus as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29, 35).

Generally, Hindu converts do not need someone tell them what the animal sacrifice is about. The ritual killing and offering of animal such as goat, buffalo, hen, or duck to the shrines in the temple is not something new to them. Animal sacrifice is one of the means to appease god or goddess. Through that satisfaction, they believe they can maintain or sway the divine favor on their side. For the ritual, they would keep or find a sacrificial animal without any blemish, by which means it has to be spotless or woundless that has never been hurt or wounded before. That is, therefore, a consecrated offering for the remission of sin of the entire household.

If  any question that a person should be asking, it is this- how much blood of animals would be enough to wash the sin of a person? What if the person committed any sin just before her/his death with due sacrifice?  How do we know that the sacrificial animal’s blood has blotted our sin? We, unless deluded, know well that none of the existing creatures comes close to human beings in terms of intelligent mind. Then, why some are told that the blood of an animal vindicates a man from the judgment of his wrongdoings! An animal cannot be equated with a man.

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Therefore, God himself took a human body to be a perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins, so that we might live through his blood. 

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There is nothing that can cover our sin, not even with human blood, since the Bible tells us that no man is righteous and all men have sinned (Romans 3:23). As a result of sin, we are inevitably destined to the grave because the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). No man is without blemish, so it does not leave us an option to sacrifice a sage to turn the table of judgment. Therefore, God himself took a human body to be a perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins, so that we might live through his blood. Jesus became a lamb who was sacrificed on the cross on our behalf while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). His flesh was cut open with lashes; his limbs were nailed. He was pierced and his holy blood was poured out. And only that holy and unblemished blood of Jesus can wash away our sin and make us clean, pure, and holy. Through this blood of Jesus, we are saved from the grip of sin and its power thus are redeemed (Ephesians 1:7). Unlike animal sacrifice that covers our sin temporarily, the sacrifice of the perfect Lamb of God is for the eternity.

 

Lecture: Dr. Doug Groothuis on Pascal’s Anthropological Argument


Biblical Nuggets: Three Elements of Repentance


Three Elements of Repentance

(a) Acknowledgment of sin or Admission of sin

It is more than saying that no one is perfect in this fallen world. Recognition of what the Bible says about us and the need of a Savior is true. We admit to be sinner is to accept the truth of the Bible. So, to love God is to keep his commandments.

(b) Sorrow for sin

It is more than being sad for consequences or more than being in troubled by sin. Sorrow for sin means that you dishonored God.

(c) Turning from sin

Repentance (root meaning) is to remorse for your past conducts; we put sin away. It is not simply avoiding sin but putting sin away forever. So, it is going to new direction.

Saturday Quote: Peter Kreeft on Power of Language


“Euphemisms blind us to reality. Death becomes merely “passing away.” Killing unborn babies becomes “terminating pregnancy.” Copulation becomes “going to bed with.” Genocide becomes “population control.” Sin becomes “antisocial behavior.” Change the language, and you change people’s perception of reality…. Language is more than labels; language is a choice of a way of thinking and therefore of living, of existing. Our very mode of being is determined by our language.”[1]


[1] Peter Kreeft “Telling the Truth” Making Choices: Practical Wisdom for Everyday Moral Decisions (Cincinnati, OH: Servant, 1990), 139. Print.