I was riding around our downtown area looking for a parking place the other day and happen to see a bumper sticker that caught my attention, it said “VIOLENCE IS NEVER THE SOLUTION”. Well before I could turn my blinker on for a left turn, I heard “THAT’S NOT TRUE” coming out of my mouth. I understand the human abhorrence of violence, and certainly share the distaste for man’s expressions of cruelty to other living beings, and I cringe every time I read about more deaths in the war zones. However, far beyond the calculations of the producers of this bumper sticker and similar type expressions, lies the subtle manipulations of an enemy who is doing everything he can to discredit, in the human understanding, the overwhelmingly powerful work done on the CROSS, where the Lamb of God suffered a violent death in order that we might be reconciled to God. To quote Pastor Jack Hayford “The cross is a symbol of deliverance with violence at it’s center.” It’s very important for us to never let “slip away” into some greasy pit of diabolic truth distortion our knowledge of the true work that was accomplished on the cross and the horrific violence that was inflicted upon on the ONE that made it possible.
In our protestant churches we have an empty cross, and I believe rightly so, because He is risen, however to occasionally see Him depicted hanging on the cross might possibly be a good reminder. Our freedom from the penalty of our sin, the total defeat of our enemy, and our reconciliation to God, cost an unimaginable price. Our enemy is still trying to make us believe that it really didn’t happen, we aren’t free, and that violence is never the solution. Jesus violent death on the cross proves otherwise. Don’t believe the enemy’s lies regardless of how seemingly properly they are packaged.
Buck Herring 5/3/08