Monday, February 7, 2022

Narrow Is the Way (Hebrews 2)

"How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation …" (Hebrews 2:3a).

Continuing our study of common objections to the faith, another question that closely follows “Why is Christ the only way?” is “Why is God so narrow-minded that He would provide only one way?” To answer this question we must put it in the perspective of redemptive history. In order to understand God’s mercy in providing only one way, we must see His grace throughout history, not just in the context of the New Testament.

In His infinite wisdom and grace, God created man in His own image, giving him dominion over all creation. He also set perimeters in which man was to operate—he was to abide by God’s law. If man chose to disobey God, He would die. As we know, Adam rebelled against God. But God had mercy on him by providing a way to live forever, a way of redemption. God could have left Adam and Eve to perish, but He provided a redeemer who would wipe away their sins and cleanse them from all unrighteousness.

In this history of redemption, God selected one group of people to be an agent of blessedness to all creation. He entered into a covenant with Israel, saying that if they obeyed Him, He would bless them beyond what they could imagine. They, of course, rebelled against Him time and again. But God continually showed mercy to Israel, sending them judges, kings, and prophets to call them to repentance. In response, the people hardened their hearts and killed God’s messengers.

Finally, God Himself condescended to His creation, taking on the flesh of man. He came in the person of the only begotten Son, who died on the Cross for the sins of the many. The sinless, spotless Lamb of God gave Himself up for a rebellious and stiff-necked people. Such is the awesome grace of God.

In light of the abundant mercy God has continually shown a sinful and hardened people, we should question not the exclusivity of salvation but its availability. When we ask, “Why is God so narrow-minded?” we presume that He owes us more grace than He has already shown us. In reality, He owes us nothing. Yet in His mercy He has provided a way, His only Son. How then can we ignore so great a salvation, demanding more than He has already given us?

Read Lam. 3:22–24; Joel 2:12–14; and Micah 7:18–20. What qualities are attributed to God in these passages? Is man deserving of His mercy? Why has God refrained from destroying mankind completely? Respond to God in humble thanks for His surpassing grace extended to you.