I was enjoying some quiet time reflecting on Christmas when a thought came to mind: what if Christ wasn’t our story? What if He didn’t exist? What if the devil had free reign without end?
Years ago I remember reading comments regarding Clint Eastwood’s western, Unforgiven. Although I have not seen it, I had read enough to understand it wasn’t a John Wayne throwback. A review admitted the movie wasn’t what they thought it would be.
Unforgiven was depressing and dark. No evidence of hope. Everything was bleak.
Another reviewer left a comment that struck with me. Paraphrasing they wrote, “The title is Unforgiven. That’s a bleak life. There isn’t hope. What else could you expect without forgiveness?”
And so life would be without Christ. Imagine if God left us to our own devices to bridge the gap between our sin and eternity with our Heavenly Father? What if Mary considered her options and decided to have an abortion? What if Jesus gave into temptation or chose to call on the angels to stop His execution?
No author would be able to accurately describe the chaos and terror that would be our everyday. Not only would there be unforgiveness, there would be sin abound without reprecussions. Every evil thing would be encouraged and celebrated. Acts of service would be traded for treat ourselves. Relationships would have zero boundaries and we’d live under the mantra to do whatever makes us happy.
You might think the world is in a free fall, and I admit, events have not been very positive the last couple years. But, Jesus. Muslims are inviting Christ into their lives after having dreams where Jesus speaks to them. That’s better than any movie, and of course the media isn’t going to report that. But it’s true, and that’s hope.
As harsh as our surroundings are, I think for the most part we can admit we are clothed and fed. We have daily provision and access to resources to help us. We have His Word and the ability to worship. There is so much we have even on our darkest day. Why?
He is our Redemption. Our Healer. Our Provider. Our Friend.
I’m so glad it’s a hypothetical for me to consider life without Christ. If you know Him as a teacher, prophet, or simply a nice guy who wandered Earth, I invite you to read a chapter of John a day, asking God to show you who Jesus is, really is. Not just during the Christmas season, but daily.
Don’t miss a second experiencing life through the lens of love and forgiveness.
Thank you for this lovely post, Julie. It is an excellent reminder of how important forgiveness is to each of us, both to give and to receive.
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Amen. Thanks for reading, Louise. Merry Christmas!