A Safe Place To Stand In the days of the westward expansion in north America, when men saw that a prairie fire was coming, what would they do? There was no way for them to outrun it guess the safe route out. The pioneers took a match, burned the grass in a designated area around them, and then they would take their stand in the burned area and be safe from the threatening prairie fire. As the roar of the flames approached, they would not be afraid. Even as the ocean of fire surged around them there was no fear, because fire had already passed over the place where they stood. Jesus said, "I have come to bring fire upon the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo..." There is no escaping the judgment and division (fire) that has come since Jesus' sufferings on the cross (baptism). There is only one safe place to stand and that is where the match of God's judgment has been struck: The foot of the cross.permalink source: Brett Blair, www.eSermons.com, August 2001.
Catholics have a reputation for severity, for judgment that comes down heavily. My experience with Father Martin was not at all like that. He was very kind. He served me tea and biscuits in a tea set that tinkled and rattled at every touch; he treated me like a grown-up; and he told me a story. Or rather, since Christians are so fond of capital letters, a Story. And what a story. The first thing that drew me in was disbelief. What? Humanity sins but it's God's Son who pays the price? I tried to imagine Father saying to me, "Piscine, a lion slipped into the llama pen today and killed two llamas. Yesterday another one killed a black buck. Last week two of them ate the camel. The week before it was painted storks and grey herons. And who's to say for sure who snacked on our golden agouti? The situation has become intolerable. Something must be done. I have decided the only way the lions can atone for their sins is if I feed you to them." "Yes, Father, that would be the right and logical thing to do. Give me a moment to wash up." "Hallelujah, my son." "Hallelujah, Father." What a downright weird story. What peculiar psychology. I asked for another story, one that I might find more satisfying. Surely this religion had more than one story in its bag - religions abound with stories. But Father Martin made me understand that the stories before it - and there were many - were simply prologue to the Christians. Their religion had one Story, and to it they came back again and again, over and over. It was story enough for them. (Yann Martel. Life of Pi)permalink source: The Life of Pi, p 53 by Yann Martel
The best mathematical equation I have ever seen: 1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given.permalink source: Anonymous
So we see that objectively the Blood deals with our sins. The Lord Jesus has borne them on the Cross for us as our Substitute and has thereby obtained for us forgiveness, justification and reconciliation. But we must now go a step further in the plan of God to understand how He deals with the sin principle in us. The Blood can wash away my sins, but it cannot wash away my `old man'. It needs the Cross to crucify me. The Blood deals with the sins, but the Cross must deal with the sinner.permalink source: Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life, chapter 2
The Right Components In The Wrong Configuration
What then do I mean by saying that Pierced for Our Transgressions is deeply unbiblical? Just this: it abstracts certain elements from what the Bible actually says, elements which are undoubtedly there and which undoubtedly matter, but then places them within a different framework, which admittedly has a lot in common with the biblical one, but which, when treated as though it were the biblical one, becomes systematically misleading. An illustration I have often used may make the point. When a child is faced with a follow-the-dots puzzle, she may grasp the first general idea - that the point is to draw a pencil line joining the dots together and so making a picture - without grasping the second - that the point is to draw the lines according to the sequence of the numbers that go with each dot. If you ignore the actual order of the numbers, you can still join up all the dots, but you may well end up drawing, shall we say, a donkey instead of an elephant. Or you may get part of the elephant, but you may get the trunk muddled up with the front legs. Or whatever. Even so, it is possible to join up all the dots of biblical doctrines, to go down a list of key dogmas and tick all the boxes, but still to join them up with a narrative which may well overlap with the one the Bible tells in some ways but which emphatically does not in other ways. And that is, visibly and demonstrably, what has happened in Pierced for Our Transgressions, at both large and small scale.permalink source: N. T. Wright, The Cross and the Caricatures, http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/news/2007/20070423wright.cfm?doc=205