When I was younger, I loved to fish. And it just so happened that we lived only 300 yds from a creek. It was a perfect match! I played there every single day after school. With my faithful (and very stupid) dog, Shaggy, by my side, I was in heaven. Mom only asked that I finish my homework first. So I did it as quickly as possible.
I learned that for different types of fish you need different types of lures. For catfish you need worms and other things of that sort because they are bottom feeders. For bass you often use things that pop along the surface like an insect would or move through the water as a sort of injured fish.
Each lure has one thing in common… it has a hook. Once you get the fish’s attention, it thinks the lure is a source of food and it strikes. When it does, depending on the type of fish, you let it swim off with the lure for a little while (my dad called this “letting the fish play with it”) then yank hard to set the hook. Once the hook is set, you simply reel it in. Sometimes you have to just fight the fish until it just gives up.
The world system around us seemingly has everything to offer, just like a fishing lure. What it has to offer jiggles, wriggles, sparkles, shines and smells just right. The marketing and hype surrounding this system is that if we don’t buy in to it, we will be less of a person. We become just like Homer Simpson: “Ooh… shiny objects!”
According to 1 Jn. 2:15 there are three main lures in our everyday world
- Lust of the flesh – Physical gratification (Wanting your own way)
- Lust of the eyes – Greed, desire for possessions (Wanting everything for yourself)
- Pride of life – arrogance (Wanting to appear important)
Christianity, on the other hand, has only a plain, rough wooden Cross. It is earthy, dirty and barren. It doesn’t seem to have anything of value to offer us… nothing to capture our attention, nothing that is flashy or loud, and certainly nothing that would have the outward promise of changing our lives for the better.
But unlike the lure, which is nothing more than a shiny object, this Cross has the power to transform lives. It’s the real deal. Its power is not in the Cross itself, but in the One that hung on it.
The whole message of Christianity hangs on what we celebrate this weekend. The fact that Jesus rose from the dead sets Him above all the other systems. He beat the biggie: death! And the Bible says He offers the same resurrection power to us. God doesn’t renovate or remodel… He resurrects!
1 Cor. 2:1-5 It's important to know what we believe and why... we need to be able to answer the tough questions. But it's the central message of Jesus Christ dying on the Cross that has the power to transform lives. (Rom. 1:16)