There’s both a white vase and two black profiles, but one of them stands out depending on the way you see things.
This same principle applies when we read the Bible. We read it from a certain perspective. It may be a preconceived notion we have. It may be through a filter of how we’ve come to understand a certain passage. It may be a perspective we were taught. If we’d never read the Bible and pick it up one day, we’ll see things through our own experiences, sensitivities, fears, orientation to life and our notions of God.
Whenever I heard, “Jesus died for your sins,” I often thought, “What sin did I commit that would deserve death?” I’m a good person; I keep the 10 commandments; I try to love God and love my neighbors as myself. Then I heard, “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23). So I asked, “Which sins can I die from?”
For a long time I understood this to mean that if I live sinfully, I will live separate from God, not enjoy His abundant life, and maybe eventually die from a destructive lifestyle. All of those are true, but later I asked, “What did it mean to those who first heard it shortly after Yeshua’s death?” (more…)