Truth exists; only lies are invented.

-Horatius Bonar

 

When you stand before a judge in court or a minister in a church you are expected to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.   

Some of us lean towards making the good news so bad that one would have to live for tragic endings to otherwise good stories to think our version of the gospel story was anything but horrific and hopeless news.  And then there are the rest  of us, we make the gospel message into nothing more than Disneyland on steroids—pay your small entry fee and eat cotton-candy to your hearts delight.

There is a third way: The Gospel is better news than we could ever dream up in a million lifetimes.  We would never write the story-line, just due to the simple fact that the gospel paints man as a dirty-rebel criminal to the core.  When we do get a grip on the story, man might be fallen, but he’s been a good fallen guy.   And Jesus came to save him because he was a nice Savior and he just couldn’t help but want to help such good-intentioned sinners.    

The whole story is that the unbearable burden Jesus came to take off of our shoulders (our being under sin’s curse and our obligation to the old law) didn’t happen with the snapping of God’s fingers—it happened as the result of great pain and suffering.  How conveniently we gloss over that bloody truth, Jesus was separated from his Father on our behalf.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs
   and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions;
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his stripes we are healed.                                    (Isaiah 53:4-5, ESV)

You can tell half-truths.  You can bend the truth.  You can even try and hide the truth.  But one thing you cannot do with the whole truth is be selective with it.   

The good news isn’t happenstance—it is the net result of Jesus voluntarily laying down his life and allowing his torturers to have a field day.  The Resurrection was proceeded by bloodshed and our personal redemption depends on it.

Don’t forget the whole story.

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