Sunday, April 12, 2009
Marshmallow Peep Philosophies
Marshmallow peeps are so tempting. They sit there glittering in their peepy uniformity, just begging to be popped in the nearest mouth in one fluid motion.
Strangely, if I yield to the temptation, I always find they are not quite as good as I had remembered. I end up with a mouth full of spongy calories. I am deceived by fluff in my hunger.
Today's world offers a lot of glittering peeps when it comes to beliefs about God, sin, and the afterlife. We search the tables of options, hungry for hope, and sadly many are deceived by hollow philosophies of relative morality, false forms of godliness, and our "own personal truths." None of these are real or offer lasting hope. We are searching for a meal, but by eating things that simply look and feel appealing to our appetites, we just end up with empty calories and a stomach full of air.
Easter is actually about the real deal. It's the offering of a priceless solid meal of eternal bread and flowing wine. Jesus offered the woman at the well "living water." He promised her, "whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst." (John 4:14)
Now, this might sound like just another option calling out among the many "religions" in the world, but Jesus did not start a new religion or die to never be heard from again. He instead initiated a relationship with us, offering us forgiveness of sins and heaven through faith in him. He stated definitively: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
We might pass those boasts off as the teachings of just another prophet, but the empty tomb of Easter is our proof that what this man said was true. Jesus was willing to be beaten, tortured, humiliated, mocked, and brutally executed by the human race so that he could make a way for sinners to be with a Holy God. Hanging on that cross, he cried out "It is finished!" before giving up his spirit. And everyone, even his followers, thought it was over at that moment. He was dead. Christianity would have lasted no longer than that day on Golgotha had that been the end of the story. We who sin and suffer from others' sins would have no hope of forgiveness, justice, or heaven, had Jesus stayed put in his tomb.
The great gift of God to us is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These words changed all of history:
"Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!"
If you are still looking for hope among dead people and ideas and trying to satisfy your hunger for truth with marshmallow peep philosophies, remember there is only one man who claimed to be God and proved it. Jesus Christ claimed to be the Messiah, Son of God, Savior of the World, and he proved his identity and the truth of his great promises-- forgiveness for sins, hope for the hurting, and heaven for those who believe in his name.
"Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
hear me, that your soul may live."
I trust in Christ's sacrifice for forgiveness of my sins and eternal life. I rest in the hope of heaven when I am in pain. I wait eagerly in faith to see my Savior who died for me and conquered death. My Redeemer Lives!
Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat upon them,
nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;
he will lead them to springs of living water.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.