Wednesday, April 4, 2012
The Word for today:
The story of the leper healed by the touch of Jesus Christ is not, technically, a parable. But let’s make it one, because there is no gospel story more analogous to the cross than this account of when God touched man:
And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, "If you will, you can make me clean." Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, "I will; be clean." And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. (Mark 1:40-42)
Leprosy is the Bible’s most complete picture of sin and its effects: Notice that the leper must live outside the camp:
The person with such an infectious disease must wear torn clothes, let his hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of his face and cry out, 'Unclean! Unclean!' As long as he has the infection he remains unclean. He must live alone; he must live outside the camp. (Leviticus 13:45-46)
To “live alone, outside the camp” is a picture of spiritual death, which is separation from God:
Your sins have separated you from your God. (Isaiah 59:2)
But the separation can end at the cross.
It is interesting, in an architectural sense, that the cross is nothing more than an intersection. It’s the place where God, who became man, became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
We generally explain the cross in terms that are personal, emotional, and poetic. But let’s see the cross from a geometric perspective.
Intersection is where two lines touch at a solitary point. Were it not for Jesus Christ, we would have absolutely nothing in common with God. Nothing.
We intersect the realm of God at precisely one point, one portal, one Person. Except for Jesus Christ and him crucified (1), there is no point at which my path and God’s path could ever touch.
Except for Jesus Christ and him crucified, there is no point, period.
(1) 1 Corinthians 2:2