Straight into the impossible


The story is from Exodus 13. The people had spend years (400) in slavery and fear, probably feeling far from God. When was the last time they saw Him work on their behalf. And then HE did--and delivered them. Just as they began to relish newfound freedom,  they confronted a sea impossible to cross. With their human and untrained eyes, they could see no way past certain death. Why had God led here?

They're not unlike us. Consider this account from Luke 18:18-27:
18 And a ruler asked him [Jesus], "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 19 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother." 21 And he said, "All these I have kept from my youth." 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." 23 But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.24 Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, "How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." 26 Those who heard it said, "Then who can be saved?" 27 But he said, "What is impossible with man is possible with God."

We face certain death--phsyically and spiritually--with no hope in ourselves to escape it. "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" 

Jesus says, "No one is good except God alone" and then proceeds to outline the most basic commandments--which we fail, and fail, and fail--in many ways over and over. 

The disciples understand the problem well if even this most dedicated and strict (and rich) young man falls short of the standard. "Then who can be saved?" they ask.

Jesus knew there was a way, just as surely as God knew the way to get the Israelites across that sea. His way. A perfect way. Jesus knew the death He would die so that we could inherit eternal life--never on our own merits, but on the basis of His. 

If He can make us, sad and sorry that we are, fit for eternal life with Him, is there anything He can't do in this world and in us

"Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again." 2 Corinthians 1:9-10






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