Coming amid a global pandemic, the injustice and unrest of the last few weeks have led many of us to experience deep feelings of hopelessness and loss. The solutions of the secular culture…the calls for “tolerance,” the calls to “just get along,” the calls “to listen to each other,” to repent of “privilege,” or to “cancel” the offenders, all seem to fall flat.
Haven’t we heard all this before?
Acts 10 is the story of the conversion of a Roman centurion named Cornelius. Cornelius was kind to the poor and prayed to the God of the Bible.
But something was missing in Cornelius’ faith.
Cornelius had a vision to send for the Apostle Peter. Meanwhile, Peter was having visions too. When Cornelius and Peter finally met, the meaning behind their respective visions became clear. The one true God of the universe had come near in the person of Jesus Christ. This Jesus was reconciling all things—all things—to himself. He’s the judge of the living and the dead, and everyone who believes in him will have new life.
The reconciling work of the one true God, accomplished once and for all in Jesus Christ, brought the most unlikely people together. It could not have happened any other way.
Jesus’ outstretched arms on the cross weren’t just a metaphor for tolerance.
The empty tomb wasn’t just a metaphor for hope.
God had to put to death our prejudices on the cross.
And the worst thing that could ever happen—God dying a horrible death—somehow became the best thing.
God doesn’t “cancel” people, just the sin that divides us.