Faith doesn’t do anything; it simply enables us to relate ourselves to someone else who has already done whatever needs doing. Illustration: imagine that I am in the hospital, in traction, with casts on both arms and both legs.
We practice walking backward into the future every December despite using forward-facing language. The evidence hangs on our Christmas trees. Twenty-year-old childhood crafts, hand-me-downs from generations past, gifts to mark special occasions.
I’ve never been more consciously aware of the color of my skin than I am right now. I’ve never been more in awe, more afraid, more grateful for the dosage of melanin that belongs to me. Yet, for all my cherishing, I’m still trying to figure it out.
Notice that Christ represents the Father to us as none else than the all-loving and magnetic one, and he brings us through himself to the Father. Everything Christ does tends to help us to acquire a loving confidence in the Father. To simply fear the Father confers no benefit; but to bear to him a companionable love of rare quality makes us blessed.
“Who can be saved!?” the disciples asked in astonishment. For Jesus had just told them that camels passing through needle’s eyes was more probable than rich people entering heaven. For ancient Jews like the disciples, there was a centuries old understanding that wealth was a sign of God’s favor and blessing.
When Peter says he will “lay down his life for Jesus” he thinks he is willing to die to save Him. Could anything be more backwards? Sadly our thinking is often just as twisted. Like Peter we make all kinds of bold promises to God. We talk about living for Jesus and even dying for Jesus.