Someone drew my attention to a television clip that’s been the subject of a good bit of blogosphere chat in recent days. The clip is from the NBC series “ER”. I used to be a faithful viewer of the show but haven’t seen it in a couple of years now. It features a patient dying with cancer that wants and needs a clear answer about how to reconcile with God when one is separated from God by sin.
The clip provoked some reflections that I share below.
I appreciate the patient’s urgency to get an answer to what I believe is life’s most important question. Obviously the patient is urgent because he understands that he is dying and doesn’t have much time to get this figured out. The reality for all of us is that we’re dying and we don’t have much time. Truly there is urgency for all of us to figure out reconciliation.
I wasn’t sure if the woman in the clip was a counselor, chaplain or social worker but in any case she did a great job of articulating the non-biblical, new age, psychobabble that is prevalent in U.S. culture today. If there is a personal God and not just some “energy” or “force” out there, then it makes sense that God has personal and relational means by which we relate to Him. We don’t get to rationalize and make the rules about how we relate to God any more than I get to make up the rules of what is acceptable to my wife, children or friends. Persons have preferences and if I want to relate to them well I respond to their preferences and they to mine.
God’s preference is holiness. Having relationship with God requires that I do so with holiness. A Christian chaplain would have told the patient that none of us is holy and we all deserve separation from God and condemnation by God. But, because God loves us He has offered forgiveness for our sins and reconciliation in our relationship by placing His condemnation on a substitute in our place. The substitute is Jesus Christ.
This season of Lent and Easter is a time when Christians all over the world reflect on God’s tremendous gift to us in Jesus Christ. His atoning death and victorious resurrection IS our only hope. All the other “paths” to God have been fabricated by men and in the end will disappoint.
Truly Christians have examined the evidence of the other faiths and paths and have chosen to bet their lives on Jesus Christ as the way, the truth and the life. Where have you landed on life’s most important question?