The Core of Things
January 23, 2024
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13, NIV).
She was a medical student and a new Christian. She came with a small group of Christian students from Macedonia to our Albanian student evangelism conference. Small in stature, smart and soft-spoken, she rarely spoke up in our small discussion group of mixed Muslim, orthodox, atheist and agnostic students. The talk in the room was centered on comparative religion, most agreeing it is better to believe in something rather than nothing, but none settling on an answer. Then in her unobtrusive, quiet voice she spoke, “But only Christ gets to the core of our problem.”
K. Chesterton wrote, “The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”
All the discussion in the world that describes the relative benefits of one religion versus another is wasted unless a Christian in the room eventually speaks up. Whatever the comparisons, the one thing that matters is this: Christ alone gets to the core of things. All the law-keeping in Judaism, all the pleasing with works God in Islam, all the escape from anxiety in Buddhism and all the pride of atheism cannot get to the core of the problem. No matter how hard we try, the core of the problem is the vast ocean between us and God created by our sin. All the effort and meditation we might muster cannot help us swim that far.
So, God sacrificed Himself to a degree beyond our imagination: to be born as a poor child in a strange land, to limit Himself as human with all our weaknesses and pain, to die weighed down by sin, to be rejected by those He loved and then to rise up from death as a living bridge for us to cross the Uncrossable Sea. We cannot do that ourselves, no matter how we fervently we seek God in other ways. This is the core of things.
Help me speak to the core of things.