The Blaise of Jesus’s Love
Hello, this is Pastor Don of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.
Have you ever noticed the tendency of your soul to swing from prideful delight to hopeless despair and then back to pride and then back to despair, and so forth. I don’t think I am alone in this. Whenever we feel like we are measuring up to some standard of moral or social performance, we swell with pride. Then often in the very next moment, we are hit with a glimpse of our failure, and “boom”, we swing to the opposite pole of despair.
How are we ever to have stability when we are so easily swayed by our own prideful insecurity and problematic self-assessment?
The great 17th century French thinker and mathematician Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) directs us to the person of Jesus Christ. In Jesus we can look at ourselves honestly, because Jesus accepts us as sinners. He welcomes us not in our virtue but in our misery. Listen to how Pascal puts it:
“The man who knows God but does not know his own misery, becomes proud. The man who knows his own misery but does not know God, ends in despair.... Knowing Jesus Christ strikes the balance because in him we find both God and our own misery. Jesus Christ is therefore a God whom we approach without pride, and before whom we humble ourselves without despair.”
Blaise Pascal reminds us that Jesus is unlike any other god. Jesus knows us through and through, and he loved us in spite of it. He loved us while we were at our worst, while we were yet sinners. Therefore, living before His eyes frees us to look at ourselves honestly, neither cocky nor crushed.
Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.
Romans 3 (NIV)
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.