At Men’s BASIC this morning we watched this video.
Good on ER for articulating with such brutal honesty the struggle of preparing to meet one’s Maker without the certainty of what one will encounter.
This powerful clip presents well the deep guilt of being wrong and knowing better now for what you should have known better then. This is the crystallization of epiphany. This is the coalescence of sin, shame, guilt, fear, God, and judgment.
What this man wants is answers. He wants to know what he is up against. Not a greeting card sentimentality about a silver lining. Sin is serious. This man recognized the severity of what he had done and what that meant for him. He did not want someone to wink at his sin. Nor someone to come along side him and tell him that we all fall short and that it is going to be OK.
It was not going to be OK.
We are not saved by our common falleness. Our most endearing quality is not that we are “just as bad” as everyone else; at least, no worse than most.
This man was right to fear God without Jesus.
He wants someone to shoot straight and tell him that his sin is serious and that it separates him from God. This acknowledges the shame and guilt of what he knows is bad news.
How joyful is the man
the Lord will never charge with sin
The bad news and a right acknowledgement thereof provide a foothold for the Good News to make sense, to be accepted, and to be embraced in joyful response.
This man ultimately wanted Good News. The counselor sitting at his bed side was trying to speak to him kind words and sentiments that sounded sweet and comforting. They, however, were attempting to do so without being in concert with reality. Any attempt to make peace with God that does not include a right acknowledgement of being at war with God through sin falls flat and is nothing but flattery.
Do not make less of sin in order to make much of man.
Make much of Jesus by acknowledging the depths of sin and the abounding grace of God.
Making less of sin makes less of Jesus.
Making much of Jesus makes forgiveness justifiable.