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Day #34: Saturday, April 4

Netflix Weekend

Messiah: Episode 10

Clip: 17:50 – 20:00

Old Testament: Deuteronomy 28:1-68

New Testament: Romans 3:9-23

Practice: Confession

Music: “Washed Away” by Michael W. Smith; “Forgiven” by Crowder; “Stronger” by Hillsong

            This conversation between the characters Aviram and Al-Masih (the Messiah figure) is a powerful reflection on sin (the name of this episode is “The Wages of Sin”). Even if you didn’t watch the Messiah series, you can gain much from this dialogue. They offer great insight into the nature of sin with which each of us struggle.  I encourage you meditate on these short aphorisms and consider the way they speak to your own struggle with sin, guilt, and shame.

  • Don’t you want to get it off your chest?
  • Secrets, we are so happy to get rid of them. God knows your secrets and loves you anyway.
  • Sin is just a failure to choose goodness, that’s all. Goodness is a choice.
  • Every moment is an opportunity to make a choice: a choice to think a good thought, think a bad thought, to act on it, to let it pass.
  • That is God’s great blessing, that in every moment we can create our ourselves again. We all make a choice.

Aviram offers this protest: “Isn’t that convenient? We can all be forgiven and start fresh again. People have been hating and killing since we came down from the trees. If there is a God, he should be ashamed of himself.”

To which Al-Masih responds: You’re unredeemable, that’s what you think. So you project your shame on God. Our sins have a way of punishing us when we ignore them.

            What a provocative exchange this is. Al-Masih’s comments seem rooted in the theology of Romans: “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NIV), and the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23 NIV) with a little inspiration from 2 Corinthians 10:5, “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Aviram finds it difficult to accept the free gift of grace – “Isn’t that convenient? We can all be forgiven and start fresh again.” Yes! The Bible says. He sounds a lot like Paul in Romans 7:24-25 (NLT) – he just needs to find Paul’s answer.

            “Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

            Where do you find yourself in this conversation? Do you relate to Aviram and his disbelief that God could forgive him of his terrible past? Do you project your shame on God? Are your sins punishing you for ignoring them? That is why confession is so critical. Reflect on this passage from 1 John and consider your confession to God.

1 John 1:5-10 NLT

This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

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