God's word in today's world

Jesus adds up differently


While we were growing up, there was no such thing as Grade R. Even playschools weren’t that common. We ate, played, ate, played and slept. So it was no surprise that many of us got quite weepy when we were pushed into a classroom. It felt like a cage to us.

Everything was unfamiliar. The chairs were hard and our bums were definitely not used to sitting still for so long. We didn’t even know how to hold a crayon or what to use it for. And that smell nearly suffocated us.

When I think back now, I know we were wild and that the teacher had only one purpose in mind and that was to tame us.

Fortunately, I like doing sums. Probably because the teacher used lovely red apples to explain the concept to us. Holding one red apple, she picked another one from the bowl, and asked: “If I have one apple and I take another one from the bowl, how many apples do I have?” I was the first to call out loudly: “Two!” Teacher scolded me and said I had to put up my hand before answering, but that did nothing to diminish the great feeling of pride I had because I got the answer right.

Later on she also explained subtraction: “If I have two apples and I take one away, how many do I have left?” I let the other children answer this one; I didn’t want to get in trouble again …

As time went by, I realised that the apples could be replaced with many other things. One sin plus one more equal two sins. And if you do one more, it adds up to three and so on, until you end up with an uncountable bunch of sins.

But the minus part doesn’t work like this, because when you have two sins, you can’t subtract one and end up with just one. The plus works so well and the bunch keeps on growing. And there’s nothing we can do about it.

Not even one small sin minus one huge deed can make the sin disappear. And we know that the consequence of sin is death. The consequence of sin is that people miss out on eternal life and end up in the eternal fire.

God knew this. He realised what a terrible situation people were in and that our sums will not work out. Then the Master mathematician did new sums that do not really make sense to people, because you see, our sums of one good deed deleting sin don’t work.

3… This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God’s nature. He holds everything together by what he says—powerful words! After he finished the sacrifice for sins, the Son took his honored place high in the heavens right alongside God …

Jesus’ death on the cross washes away our sin. The sum: A heap of sin minus Jesus’ death on the cross equals no sin. The result: We can run through the gates of heaven.

So simple, but in a way so far beyond our understanding. That’s why we simply believe …

Scripture
Hebrews 1:1-4

Reflection
What does your sin-sum look like?
What do Jesus’ sums do to you?
What do you do with Jesus’ sums?

Prayer
Father, I don’t always know how your sums work. It doesn’t make sense. But I have to take them at face value. Without your sums my sums definitely make no sense. Thank you for your sums! Amen.

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