A Love Hate Relationship

On 8 November, 2016, the United States of America saw a landmark presidential election, wherein a billionaire outsider took the rudder of the ship of state. Our forty-fifth president is a polarizing figure, eliciting one of two emotions, great fondness or great loathing.

In a town from which nothing good comes, according to popular wisdom, a carpenter's son is born in a cow shed. He's got great prowess among the scholars of his day regarding the scriptures, but he's a total outsider from a relatively poor family. If absence makes the heart grow fonder, this carpenter's son shows that closeness can make the heart grow harder. You're not the anointed Messiah of Yahweh. You're Joe and Mary's son. I live across the way from you guys. Fie on you! You're no God. yet a group of poor fishermen see him as something miraculously special, something infinite maybe. Doesn't that smack of great fondness and great loathing?

The current American president has overcome great odds in order to arrive here, and greater odds are yet to be surpassed, but those of us in the fondness category have faith that God will see him through. Enemies abound, who would take pleasure in his misfortune, but we feel that God is on his side.

If the forty-fifth commander-in-chief has long odds to overcome, then how much more was overcome by the carpenter's son? There's no comparison. He was tempted after a forty-day fast. He was scorned by his kith and kin. People tried to kill him simply because he brought a joyous message to the people. A known thief with many prior offenses was freed from execution instead of him. In the end, he himself was killed wrongfully.

Was it wrongful death though? The freeing of the thief was a Passover custom, which the Roman despots were wont to permit. But what was the carpenter's son's crime? Everybody knew that he was pious, wise and forbearing. What could he have possibly done?

His crime was everyone's sin in toto. The Old Testament's blood sacrifices in abeyance for sin are by no means abolished, even today. As the bible says, the wages of sin is death. But I cannot pay off that heavy debt. It's impossible. That's why the carpenter's son from that no good town in Galilee arose.

Okay, neighbor so-and-so, you're correct. He's Joe and Mary's kid. Joseph, however, is his adoptive father. Mary is still a virgin. That carpenter's son is the very Immanuel himself. Jesus Christ is God with us. Bethlehem led to Calvary, which led to the great absolution by his blood of the wages of sin, which is death. Through that humble carpenter's son, we're able to live freely in the knowledge that, as kids say nowadays, you're good. He's got it.