Colossians 1:21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,22yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach--
Iíve got a great big teddy bear and its the bestest thing in the world. I like to hug it, it hugs be back. everywhere I go I bring my teddy bear. Sometimes I hold it real tight, sometimes it holds me real tight. Its my friend, and it will always be my friend. It loves me, thatís why it came to live with me. I love my teddy bear too. Most people like my teddy bear, but not all. Some people are bad, and my teddy bear knows, sometimes I donít know. When bad people come, my teddy bear growls, thatís how I know theyíre bad, my teddy bear never growls at good people, and my teddy bear never makes mistakes. When my teddy bear growls, bad people run away, and they donít come back. They must know theyíre bad, and the growl makes them ashamed, and so they run away. Sometimes I think about being bad, but I donít want my teddy bear to growl at me. My teddy bear loves me, and hugs me, and keeps me safe. I wish everyone could have a teddy bear like my teddy bear, because if they did, then everyone would be happy.
If we stop now, the one question on the minds of many is, what is all this make believe teddy bear stuff about? Its not on the minds of all, for some already know that having Jesus in your heart is like having a big teddy bear that loves you, and lives with you, and keeps you safe. They already know that bad people are often afraid of Jesus, because when He comes, they see their sins and are ashamed. They already know that everyone can have Jesus in your heart, and that is the one thing that will make people happy. Infact that is what our text is all about, listen to it again:
COL 1:21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,22yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach--
What makes this good news, is that Jesus doesnít come only to people who have always been good. The good news is that Jesus comes to people who were bad, and makes them good. Jesus makes us a new creation, Jesus makes us born again. Its not just fixing up the old part or the broken part, Jesus comes to make us new, and to give us new life.
You seem the one thing everyone is looking for is to be happy. But you canít be happy if God is angry with you. And while you can try to be good, and turn from evil, there is nothing we can do to make up for the evil we have done. The wages of sin is death, and so every time we come to God, we canít come close because we know our sins, and we are afraid God will give us what we deserve - death, which is eternal, not just an end to this life. Because we canít find a way to make peace with God, God comes to us, having made peace for our sins by paying the full debt, for that is what Jesus took with him to the cross, that from the cross he might proclaim forgiveness of sins purchased and won for all. And that new creation, that begins in baptism, is one that makes us: "holy and blameless and beyond reproach."
Its not that we are perfect, we are still human, and so we sin. But while we are still human, we are now saints, and as the saints and the children of God by grace through faith, we do not continue in sin; rather we turn from sin. Thatís what repentance is all about, turning from sin is turning towards God. Sin had us going the wrong direction, just as faith is walking with our Savior and following Him. And when we are walking with our Savior we are "holy and blameless and beyond reproach." Jesus reconciled us to God, that is, he made peace between us.
And thatís what brings us back to the teddy bear, because grown up language has great difficulty understanding how anyone can forgive and forget. But children forgive and forget, they do it all the time, they donít even have to work at it, it just happens. And since children can forgive and forget and everyone knows, of all the childrens toys, teddy bears are the most forgiving, it might be a helpful way for adults to think of Jesus, so that they too can be like children who forgive and forget, and live at peace with God. After all, arenít we all the children of God?