A good friend and I were talking yesterday, and she told me about a video clip that a church in Los Angeles had made for its Easter worship gatherings. I looked at it this morning, and was absolutely struck by it. Before you read any further, click here to watch it on YouTube.
I suppose there are several ways one could interpret the video, and not having been at the services where it was used, I’m not sure exactly what that congregation’s leaders intended. But here’s one thing I get from it: Jesus didn’t pay the price of his life for perfect people.
Do you see what I mean? The man who gave the girl his money took the flowers that had been knocked onto the road and run over by a car. He didn’t want the perfect ones; he wanted the damaged ones. He knew that by paying for the damaged ones, their value would be greater in the seller’s eyes. If we were “good people”, Jesus gave up his life for no purpose (unless you believe those who say he died as a political revolutionary – NOT!). The Bible is pretty clear, really: “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5.8, NLT). I suppose one could view the video and see a “random act of kindness” or a “senseless act of beauty” – which it definitely was. But I choose to see more. As the apostle John wrote, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4.9-10, NIV). Who of us has not felt like our very own soul has been run over by a car – perhaps several times?! Jesus wants to redeem it anyway. In fact, Jesus has redeemed it already. Perhaps on days like today – it’s raining where I am – we need a reminder of God’s greater purpose for us. On days when we feel irredeemable, it’s good to know that we have been redeemed. Even on days when we feel like everything we are and have has come from the sweat of our own brow, it’s important to remember that we have been redeemed. In response, God calls us to live out our redemption – to bring colour and life – to a world longing for something more.