I am a Christian. As such, I am a member of the most pessimistic faith on earth. I serve a God who has been brutally straightforward and honest about man’s spiritual state by using phrases like:
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
“The wages of sin is death”
“Surely the guilty shall not go unpunished”
“Your righteousness is like filthy rags”
My God even provided ten “commandments” that demonstrated His character but also served to prove that I am hopelessly lost, unable to keep even ten holy rules. Unlike most every other religion on earth wherein man has a sense he may be able to earn salvation and good standing with God by his efforts and good deeds, my faith boldly declares, “There is none righteous, no not one.”
I am a Christian. I am a member of the most optimistic faith on earth. While those in other religions can only wonder and hope that they have done enough to earn or warrant salvation, I know for certain that I am in right relationship with God and have already begun eternal life with Him because of His Son who willingly did for me what I could not do for myself. I worship a God who boldly declares phrases like:
“He became sin who knew no sin that we might become the righteousness of God”
“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”
“For He did not come into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved”
“Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow”
You might wonder how Christianity can be both the most pessimistic and the most optimistic faith on earth. Surely it can only be one or the other. And so it would seem until you stand before the Cross.
This Friday – Good Friday – many Christians will gather to ponder and celebrate that moment when the holy wrath of God and the measureless grace of God came together at one time, in one place, in the person of Jesus Christ.
In that incredible moment God affirmed His holy truth – mankind was hopeless and condemned, deserving of wrath – and all God’s righteous wrath for sin was poured out. However, it was poured out on Jesus so the grace of God could be extended to us.
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me”