Prison Minds, Easter Historical past and the Essential Function of the Folks of God The Change

SaveSavedRemoved 0
Deal Score0
Deal Score0

During the current "Shelter in Place" I caught up with the seasons of Criminal Minds. I admit it's a pretty dark show as it is about the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU), whose job is to find and catch serial killers.

Think of the “dark” plot of the Show Criminal Minds. Serial killers are at large and wreaking havoc, and local police or sheriff departments are unable to hunt down such dark criminals. When they find that they are finished, call the BAU (Behavior Analysis Unit), which immediately starts analyzing the crime scene photos.

BAU is good news for local and state law enforcement agencies dealing with dark criminals. BAU agents are trained to shine light where there is darkness. The more light they shine, the more they push the darkness back and the sooner they can bring peace in chaos. In short, when the BAU appears, hope comes.

I had to think about how Criminal Minds' plot resembles Easter history.

The world is in a state of chaos and darkness while the serial killer of sin is at large. And the world is looking for an answer to who can eliminate sin once and for all and restore order, peace and light.

To eliminate the serial killer of sin, the world must call on Jesus.

What should have been is not

The apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:

Because we do not proclaim ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God who said, "Let light shine out of the darkness" shone in our hearts to give the light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (Verses 5-6)

I love how Paul connects the good news (Jesus Christ) with the Genesis narrative. If we rewind to the beginning of creation, we know that after God created heaven and earth (Genesis 1: 1), the earth was in a state of chaos. The author notes the following description: "The earth was shapeless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the water depths …"

Sidney Greidanus describes the scene as follows: “It is pitch black; no light at all. All that exists is an informal, empty, dark, deep ocean. Nothing can grow or develop on this earth. It is total chaos. "(1)

In a state of total chaos, the Spirit of God begins to move, and in the next verse we read these famous but powerful words: "Then God said:" Let it be light "…"

When I read these words, I think what it must have been like – that the darkness quickly became light. Hope had come, life was beginning to unfold and at the end of six days it would be considered "very good".

Imagine what is "very good" for you. What does a “very good” creation look like? What happens in a "very good" creation?

Now that you have what you think is "very good", is that our reality today? Probably not. This means that something went wrong.

The serial murder sin and the good news of a savior

According to Scripture, we believe that sin has entered the "very good" world and caused chaos. Sin can be defined as "everything that does not come from belief (in God)" (Romans 14:23). To define sin a little more precisely, I would like to borrow from John Piper, who defines sin as "every feeling, thought, speech or action that comes from a heart that God does not value above all other things" (2 ).

When Adam and Eve sinned, the order that God had created began to dissolve. Sin spoiled; Sin cursed God's good creation – especially the crescendo of his creation, humanity. The created order – just like humanity – lives in this fallen, broken and chaotic state.

Every religion and philosophy has tried to understand why the world is the way it is and how it can (or will) be done properly. In a sense, you are looking for a BAU to create clarity, determination and thus calm.

Here the Bible helps enormously. The apostle Paul tells us that according to the work of God, Jesus Christ is THE WAY in which God will redeem humanity, restore order and restore the curse of sin.

God, in a manner similar to how He began the unfolding of creation by speaking light in the darkness, sent the Logos (the Word made flesh), which is also THE light of the world, on a mission to begin the unfolding of the NEW CREATION.

In other words, God sent Jesus to stop the serial killer of sin (and death) in his tracks.

But how did Jesus do it? To give birth to a new creation, Jesus died for (and instead of) the old creation and was brought up as the first fruit of the new creation. Paul defines this as the gospel. In a letter to the faithful in Corinth, he explains:

Now I want to make clear to you, brothers and sisters, the gospel that I have preached to you, that you have received, that you have taken a stand on, and that you will be saved by if you stick to the message that I have preached to you …. For I have given you the most important thing that I have received: that according to the Scriptures Christ died for our sins, that he was buried, that on the third day he was raised according to the Scriptures and that he appeared to Kephas; then to the twelve.

The word gospel (or good news) is an interesting word, especially in ancient times. Michael Horton notes: "In its secular Greek context, Euangelion (good news) was usually used for the word of victory on the battlefield brought by a herald from the front." (3)

Preaching the gospel (from Jesus Christ) is about God sending His messengers – ambassadors of the new creation (2 Cor 5) – to explain those who may not have heard and in a creative and personal environment of darkness Life. Chaos, brokenness, hopelessness and fear that Jesus secured victory over this for the world and for those who trust him.

The church as a BAU for the world

Jesus did not come to profile the serial killer of sin (and sinners), He came to die for sin (and sinners) – once and for all – and thereby open God's Kingdom and the process of the new one To begin creation. Creation knows that, as Paul writes:

Because creation was in vain – not voluntarily, but because of the one who subjected it – in the hope that creation itself would also be freed from bondage to fall into the glorious freedom of God's children. Because we know that all of creation has groaned along with labor until now. (Romans 8: 20-22)

While creation knows what Jesus did through his death, burial, and resurrection, the whole world does not. But the world has to know; The world needs to know that it has a lawyer, a savior, and a king who loves it and has acted in the name of the glory of God and its good.

This is where God's people come in. Those who have trusted in Jesus as Savior and Lord (King) and put their faith and hope have become part of God's people because God forgave their sins and attributed the life of Christ to them. empowered them with the Holy Spirit and sent them back to the world.

They are now acting as a kind of CONSTRUCTION because they understand why the world is the way it is, why there is pain and suffering in the world, why people behave the way they do, and where people have their hearts and theirs Can match lives to find hope, light, life and peace.

When the people of God profile sin and sinners (of which they are) and try to give a worldview and a framework for understanding a fallen world made up of sinful people, they will shape their lives according to their Redeemer. As such, they embody what it means to be reconciled with God, to be reconciled with others and to be reconciled with what we do in the world and how we do it.

May this be an Easter for eternity

There are facets of this world that embody the goodness and beauty of God's creation. But we all know – especially at a time when a deadly virus is wreaking havoc in and around the world – that we live in a dark, chaotic and broken world. So we intuitively know what should not be.

Today people may be looking for answers more than in the past. People are looking for hope; People are looking for a savior. And on the periphery of culture and society the people of God live – the BAU (if you like) from God already, but not yet Kingdom.

Given what is happening in the world today, many in culture invite the Church to help them “profile” the world and their lives, in the hope that what they hear and find will give them order, There is peace and quiet.

May this Easter be one for eternity in the annals of church history when pastors and believers profile the world of sin and sinners and proclaim a savior and king who has entered time and space and has taken on the sin of the world, died, was buried, but three days later she rose victoriously – overcoming sin and death and initiating the new creation. Glory to God!

Josh Laxton is currently deputy director of the Billy Graham Center, North American coordinator from Lausanne at Wheaton College and co-host of the podcast Living in the Land of Oz. He has a Ph.D. in North American Missiology from the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

(1) Sidney Greidanus, Sermon from Genesis, 53.

(2) John Piper: "What is sin? The Essence and Root of All Sins ”, a message preached at a 2015 pastors' conference at https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/what-is-sin-the-essence-and-root-of-all-sinning .

(3) Michael Horton, Life After the Gospel, 18.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply