Who to Attack
I had a very short but intense dream this morning. But it had a direct message that I am still pondering.
Someone had done something to make me angry at them, but immediately I sensed that I was supposed to vent my anger and blame on God rather than the other person.
When I questioned the validity of this arrangement I heard a voice say, “Get over it. Deal with it. Go ahead and take it out on Jesus. If you doubt that you should do it this way then you are in reality doubting that Jesus died for that person. By His death He took responsibility for their faults. Therefore it is He that is ready to take the heat for their mistakes, for He died to take that for them.”
This idea of directing blame and anger toward Jesus came up a number of months ago and I have had discussions with a few friends about it. It sounds strange, bizarre, almost like blasphemy in a way. But on the other hand it seems to resonate solidly with what I am starting to see as the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Maybe I am not taking this thought seriously enough.
One thing that makes me wonder about the authenticity of this notion is the problem that nearly everyone already blames God for nearly everything bad that happens. The prevailing picture of God in this world is so screwed up that many of us are ready to blame God for nearly everything and as a result have little desire to want to draw close to Him. So I wonder if this idea is just another decoy of the enemy to add to many accusations already being leveled against God inappropriately. Or maybe it is a unique method of exposing me at close range to the grace of God revealed in the death of Jesus who took over responsibility for the sins of the whole world.
If this idea has validity, is it only intended for genuine Christians as a means to help them avoid the temptations induced by mistreatment from others? Our fallen nature will always react negatively, defensively and with a desire to get even whenever someone commits an offense against us. Yet Jesus explicitly instructs us how to relate to such treatment. We are to love our enemies and pray for those who despitefully use us and forgive those who offend us.
But how does that fit with this idea of taking my anger out on Jesus for what someone else may have done to me? Maybe it is a technique for immature Christians as a safe outlet to channel anger and resentment away from another person until I am more mature in Christ and am more in control of these negative reactions. I am not yet sure.
Maybe I should explore what this potentially might look like if I were to take it seriously. If this is something from God then it would not be safe for me to ignore it even if it is not a mainstream idea found in Christianity, for many truths I find in the Bible are not readily found in mainstream Christianity. On the other hand, if this is not from God I want to know that as well. But I am also confident that God is not going to get bent out of shape if I take a closer look at it in the context of His presence and ask for His wisdom.
It still sounds like such a strange idea that it makes me question whether it is really valid or not. I wonder why no examples that come to mind or clear instructions in the Word of God that explicitly demonstrate such a concept? However, the disturbing way in which Job talks about God and the surprising response he received from God does seem to fit this idea rather well. There are a number of interesting elements in this idea that are compelling and that need closer examination.
(Romans 5:6,8.34; 14:15; Galatians 2:21; Colossians 3:3; 1 Corinthians 8:11; 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:14; Isaiah 53:5,6)
I think of a number of verses that verify that Christ died not just for those who accept Him but for the sins of the whole world. If one rejects the offended God theory so popular in counterfeit religion and believes in the perfect unity of thought and attitude within the Godhead as taught by Jesus, then the dynamics of who needs appeasing and who is demanding retribution dramatically shifts the focus. This has been coming much more clear to me as I perceive the truth about the intercession work of Jesus.
It is directly along this line where this idea seems to fit very tightly. If Jesus has earned the right to act as the defense for every person who has sinned, then it would only stand to reason that He might insist that we direct all of our accusations and anger we have against that person toward Jesus. While this may sound strange at first it is really not strange in the right context and can even be seen in the way we conduct business in our own corrupt justice systems here on earth.
Whenever a person retains an attorney to represent them in court, that attorney immediately becomes the representative who takes full responsibility to handle everything in his client's case. The attorney speaks for his client, he insists that all questions for his client be directed to himself rather than allowing someone to try to intimidate his client into saying something incriminating. A good defense attorney takes full responsibility to protect his client, to clear his client of all charges and to exonerate his reputation as much as possible.
However, in the heavenly justice system which is much more noble and operates with full integrity, (unlike the way we do business with our attorneys, judges, etc.) heaven is in the business of revealing what is really true rather than trying to cover up and deceive or subvert real justice. And since the core issue in the war between good and evil is the reputation and integrity of God, Jesus has stepped forward not only to vindicate the truth about God's perfect character but has also taken responsibility for the defects and rebellion of all humanity in a spectacular attempt to salvage them back into a trusting, loving relationship with God and heaven as they were originally intended to enjoy.
The problem comes when the accusations begin to fly and dissension and discord tears apart the bonds of love and trust between people. There certainly is no shortage of offenses to face and most people on earth are not even interested in having Jesus as their defense attorney. Yet strangely enough He still claims the right to be their court-appointed attorney in hopes that someday they will come to embrace Him as their Savior and begin to trust more implicitly in what He is seeking to do to save them.
Certainly I can see how this idea mentioned at the beginning might apply to fellow Christians who are trusting in Christ as their defense. Instead of going on the attack against a brother or sister who offends me in some way, God expects me to first check in with Him since Jesus is their sure defense. He insists that all such communications be channeled through Him first. But additionally, the Bible seems to indicate that at some level Jesus also plays a similar role for those who have not yet accepted Him to be their chosen defense. In His love and mercy God has appointed Jesus as our protection from the accusations of our enemies even while we are still living in hostility against Him. This is truly an amazing concept and worthy of much more of our consideration and appreciation.
With all of this in view from the Word of God, would it not then follow that whenever someone offends me in any way, mistreats me, slanders me or attacks me in any fashion, that I still have no right to return the attack directly on them? Jesus claims the right to fully represent that soul for whom He died and in that position insists that we direct all of our resentment, accusations or attacks directly at Him who stands in their behalf. He has already taken their sins upon Himself and suffered fully for them on the cross. Therefore, since He already took the hit for the sins of the person we are angry at, then legitimately He has more than earned the right to handle our rage about them Himself.
Interestingly if we were to take this idea seriously and direct our attacks and rage at Jesus instead of the other person, we might suddenly find ourselves in a very mellowing atmosphere of embarrassment. For in directing our rage about another person who has offended or sinned against us on Jesus – their defense attorney – we would suddenly experience the shame of realizing that we are also attacking our own defense attorney who is just as committed to protecting us from similar attacks by others.
Now that is a very interesting and sobering thought to mull over, isn't it?