- John 12:31 (NKJV) Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
We are now entering a very uncomfortable season for people who are not sympathetic toward Christianity. It’s hard to deny the clear Christian undertones that go along with Thanksgiving—beginning with the very first thanksgiving celebrated by the Pilgrims (overtly Christians) after their first harvest in the “New World” in 1621. “Thanksgivings” were common in their time and were days of prayer to thank God for particular blessings—such as military victory, the end of a drought, etc.
And then to make it more uncomfortable for those that are anti-Christian, Thanksgiving became an official Federal holiday in 1863. Abraham Lincoln, during the Civil War, proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
In years past I have naively scratched my head and wondered why people hated Christianity. After all, when an effort to practice the Christian faith is honestly attempted, crime goes down, people become more faithful to their marriage vows and family responsibilities. They attempt to give an honest day’s labor for their wages. They don’t steal, lie, wound or maim. Giving and benevolence goes up. The poor, sick, handicapped, outcast, prisoner, and stranger are welcomed and cared for.
I can understand getting upset at Christians who fall far short of these standards, but what is wrong with the above list? Why would people not celebrate a group of people who are at least attempting to live like that and cheer them on even with they were not inclined to be a Christian themselves?
The answer is simple. They don’t care about what we do—our Christian charity and the practice of our faith is our own business. The rub is this: the Cross of Jesus Christ judges them. They may not even realize this but instinctively, they know this. There’s something about Jesus dying on the Cross that is troubling.
Without you or me doing anything or saying anything, when we identify ourselves with Jesus Christ and call ourselves a Christian—by proxy we remind people that they are judged.
What is the buzzword of our age? Tolerance.
When it comes to moral issues, the first question that is asked is, “What right do you have to judge me?”
If they are asking you or me, the answer is probably none; like everyone else we have our own issues and have very little right to be casting stones at anyone else.
Unfortunately, Jesus does have a right. He earned that right at Calvary and the Cross cries out the judgment of the world.
Remember that when you are caught in the crossfire between a rebellious non-believer and the message of the Cross; it is not you they hate—it’s the Cross. After all, who likes to be reminded that they are a sinner and are hopelessly lost unless they humble themselves and admit this and embrace the bloody and broken feet of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ?
I’m afraid it will only get worse as the End approaches. But be of good cheer, the same Cross that judges also bridges…bridges the gap between an unholy person and a holy God and allows us access to perfect love, grace, mercy, peace, and eternal life.
Now that is something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Oh I’m sorry, “Turkey Day”. (What’s up with that?!) Oh yeah, people don’t like being reminded that they are judged and found wanting–the Cross declares it faithfully.