Thursday, February 11, 2010

Now that’s good news!

I've been reading Hebrews chapter 2, which opens with this rhetorical device:
We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?
Which I might paraphrase as: "You thought the Torah was big? It was, but this is huge!"

As it turns out, I do think the Torah was big. Huge, actually. I was thinking about this the other day, and the beauty and power of Genesis 1 overwhelmed me. I didn't quite start weeping in public, but this story was truly Good News for Modern Man (back when "Modern" meant 12th century BC). I mean, I can't express what good news it must have been to these people to hear the astonishing outrageous truth that God created us by fiat (not by killing some other being), and that he created us to rule with him. I mean he gave us a new name -- regent, not robotic slave. That was amazing good news! It makes me think of 1 John 3:1 -- "Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us that we should be called children of God." Wow! What could be better than that?

And now the author of Hebrews is telling us that this salvation, whatever it is, is even bigger than all that. It must be huge! And I guess it is. Peter tells us that even angels long to look into these things (1 Peter 1:12), and Paul says, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).

It makes me think that God was looking forward to blessing humankind, preparing a present for us and anticipating the joy of giving us the great good news, a present even greater than the gift of a new name given to us in Genesis 1. Words fail me, but I can enjoy thinking about His goodness.

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