So I’ve met this guy…and I think he’s The One! My church friends like him and He’s good with people. We talk all the time and are never apart. When I’m with him I get this amazing swooshy feeling in my tummy. He’s super-smart, creative, kind and has a good sense of humour, but serious too. He always cheers me up when I feel down and he’s always doing amazing stuff to prove how much he loves me. How did we meet? At home group. His name? Jesus…
What’s wrong with this picture? Well, not everything. Yes, Christianity is a relationship, not a set of rules or impersonal contract. Jesus is beautiful and He captures our heart as well as our head. He loves us and the Cross is evidence of how much. But Good Friday was not a box of choccies, it was blood and thunder.
Jesus is not like a boyfriend: adoring, committed to making me feel better and always telling me I’m great. And the cross is not like an enormous bunch of roses: proof of His love and proof of my worth. A boyfriend loves you because you’re lovable. Jesus sets His love on you when you’re not. Your boyfriend falls for you and can’t see your faults. Jesus sees everything: and loves you despite yourself.
Jesus is not a teenage dream, like the glamorous frontman in a band. He’s part of a three-piece; Father, Son and Spirit – and they don’t need the adulation of the crowds. Long before we existed they were dancing together: and we are not the missing piece.
Your boyfriend makes you feel good about you. Kind of like a contract, where you fill one another’s love tank. Jesus doesn’t need your love. But still He pours His love on you. This sets you free to really love; not as an exchange of favours, but because you’re secure and you’re free.
Jesus is not a cute puppy dog, telling me I’m great. He the creator of the universe who dies for my sin. He’s not one of many options or fish in the sea. He’s God. And there’s No-one who can take His place.