I recently did a talk at youth, on Genesis 41. Pharaoh had some wacky dreams. God orchestrated the situation so that Joseph was in place to interpret them.
God was showing Pharaoh that he had a problem, God revealed what the problem was (through Joseph), and then provided the solution (again in the person of Joseph; a wise manager). This parallels the way that people can be saved. Hebrews 1 says that the days of the prophets culminated in Christ. The prophets revealed the will of God, the sinfulness of humans, and the response required. They urged, rebuked, reminded, weeped, and pleaded with the people to recognise their sin, and turn back to God.
This culminated in Christ. He laid down his life for us. What a tragic, but joyous and beautiful truth.
As God revealed and solved Pharaoh’s problem, so he reveals and offers a solution to ours. But what is our problem? The bible describes it as sin. It might be described as dumping God to whore around with other things.
What’s the point of this? I’m reading my bible before starting to head bedwards; tonight it’s John 7-8. This verse stands out:
“The world…hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil.” John 7:7 (There’s more to that verse; have a look!)
I’m not a fan of out-of-context prooftexting, but I think that here Jesus is making a clear statement; he testifies that the world does evil stuff. Think of a legal witness. I think that as someone familiar with the gospels, I have become incredibly desensitised. I realised in the writing of my talk that too often I have ignored how much Christ’s teaching condemns me. Even reading just the sermon on the mount should make it clear that I am far from righteous on my own account. Just because I am forgiven doesn’t mean that his teaching is less applicable to me.
Christ condemns the evil of the world, and then takes the punishment for our evil if we accept him. Don’t let yourself become desensitised to his rebuke. In doing so, we pour contempt on the cross; we say that we are comfortable with not treating sin as seriously as God does, but we are still ok with him dying for that. That is not making much of Christ.