In the years I have logged on Earth as a human being, I’d say I have seen and heard quite a lot. A reality that has ceased to surprise me and yet somehow still confounds me, is the capacity of man for evil. Pure, unadulterated, and unalloyed evil. Yet it never occurs to the man, that, it is evil. In his mind, he is possibly doing the greatest good, that which even the gods, when they look upon it, would be forced to applaud him.
Jesus, at a time, speaking to his disciples, intimating them of the experience that awaits them in the times ahead, once said that a time will come when men will kill them in the name of serving God.
They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
This is interesting. That a man will kill other men in service to God, the same God that said “Thou shall not murder“. The same God that in Christ expressed that, Hatred for a man is an equivalent in the legal scheme of the kingdom as murder. Man’s capacity for evil is so shocking, that I think quietly, it surprises a man what he is capable of.
The other day, in my reading, I happened upon a verse of scripture:
For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.
Let’s be clear about this. The kind of evil the unregenerated man can undertake can be of cosmic proportions, and he can do that thinking he is as pious as they come.
In the verse above, God handed himself to man, and in the name of God, man killed God.
The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him
Nothing good is safe in the hands of unregenerated men…not even God as it were.
I know that sometimes we think of the Gospel of Christ as a rehabilitation protocol designed to improve man and smoothen his rough edges. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Gospel which exposes us to the Redemptive work of God, reaches unto man, delivering him from the Power of darkness and the nature that it has so established in him- that which man now is. It is such a thorough job -a job of death- that it gives man an entirely new nature, such that this man is called a New Man.
Redemption is not rehabilitation. Outside of God and without God, a man is an accident waiting to happen. Such is the strength of the wickedness at work in him. But such also is the Power available to save him. The instrument of the Cross and the Power that raised Christ from the dead, the Resurrection Power deployed towards mankind to end that Salvation is accomplished.