Sep 11 17

Who Needs Whom?

vmsmith

This past Monday I got up to start my day in the usual manner. Every day starts with a review of one of the sermons I will preach the following Sunday. I had just finished my Sunday morning review when I picked up the TableTalk devotional which is next on the list of the morning reading. To my surprise, the devotion for the day included this important statement: “God doesn’t need you! Never has. Never will. For anything. Ever.” This was an interesting assertion because I had just seen the same concept in my own sermon on the resurrection.

In this sermon, I examined the terrible lie that was concocted by the wicked religious leaders who tried to conceal the truth of the resurrection. I looked at their lie to wonder how would God deal with it. What could be done to fix it and how would people learn the truth when the most influential, powerful leaders of religion told a story in direct contradiction to the truth?

It’s a very good question considering only eleven uneducated men were given the responsibility to preach what the leaders so steadfastly denied. How were they to overcome such powerful opposition? As it turns out, God did not need them to fix things. Although God never lies, He certainly did set up all the circumstances that made this lie testify to the truth.

In His resurrection plans, God never allowed the disciples to dwell on the promise Jesus gave that He would rise from the dead. He told them many times, but it is as if they never heard it. They never latched on to it as a means of hope which is proved by two of them in their conversation with the resurrected Christ on the road to Emmaus. If they had believed it, they would have been a constant presence at the tomb eagerly waiting for the exact moment to see Jesus just as He came back to life. If this had happened, it would help make the lie the body was stolen more plausible. God did not want them anywhere near the tomb until it was over in order to make the leaders’ lie completely self-defeating.

It was the leaders who insisted that Pilate post a guard and put the Roman seal on the tomb. Their efforts were to ensure there was no way the body could be stolen. It was so tightly secured that when the resurrection happened, the lie the body was stolen was impossible to believe. God did not need the disciples to fix this for Him—the religious leaders did the job themselves and God directed them every step of the way.

Today’s theology is dominated by seriously bad thinking. The idea is that God cannot do anything without us. God sits in heaven crying because He is helpless. He is so disappointed because He created man and loved Him and now nobody will love Him back. So, God needs to be made happy and we are the only ones who can help Him. The truth is God does not need us. Never has. Never will. For anything. Ever. He doesn’t need you—you need Him. Always have. Always will. For everything. Forever.

This theology is proved over and over again in scripture. God is sovereign over all affairs and always has been. Adam’s fall was not a surprise. Jesus’ death was not a responsive afterthought. The lie about the resurrection was not a problem for God to overcome.

The author concluded with this thought: “God is not looking for ‘helpers’ to assist Him in saving the world…God has never commanded us to go save the world for Him. He calls us to follow Him as He saves the world through us.” You see, it is not about you—it’s all about Him.

Pastor V. Mark Smith