Dirt gusts over the blood-soaked mountain as an arrogant nation looks on. Overtop of the needy hangs the worthy, the Helper in place of the helpless. But mocking and mourning mix together blind the world as an undead Savior hang beaten and bruised. At each hand hang two criminals, both in need, but only one desperate enough to admit it.
Are we so different? At the tattered feet of a perfect Savior sits Mary, longing to hear more about her Redeemer. Martha scurries about, thinking more must be done to honor the Savior. Little does she realize the beauty gracing her presence like never before as she tries to do enough to honor His coming. But how could a broken world ever honor the perfect Redeemer?
Shame once captured Seth's attention unlike any other emotion. Arrogant pride made Seth beat his chest in the presence of God as shame clouds his judgment. Believing he was good enough to stop every sinful habit only kept Seth in reverse when he was trying to go forward. It is difficult, some may even say impossible, for the prideful to succumb to the idea that we are not enough.
Weeds choke the very root that Seth believes is good. Sin should not be something Seth struggles with, and the fact he does shows God should never love him. Amazingly Seth is not wrong, undeserving of such blind fortune as to stumble upon the truth of God's grace as he is, but unable to see why that truth has more substance than we can to admit. For Seth did not realize that not being enough was the only path to Enough the world has ever known. Years and years of clawing and wrestling with the inner turmoil that enough belief will irradicate Seth's struggle with sin permanently. Torturing himself led Seth to raise fists to God in a rage because he was unable to believe enough to make sin go away and felt God should just abandon him. This rage met with the same foolish condescending nature that Seth directed toward God when a positive relationship went south despite having not indulged in sexual immorality while together. Teetering between miserable self-pity and unparalleled self-righteousness placed Seth in a position he had never been before: god of his own life.
The path is quite simple really, though mudded by the false religion that American Christianity worships weekly. Do enough and God owes a favor, fail enough and God solidifies His rejection. This thought process, having no biblical backing, of course, tickles the ears of every American patriot that is sick of seeing hard-earned money go to people undeserving. Faithfully executing such a religion leads to such bitterness and self-loathing that the only reasonable response is to hate God or like God, neither truly making Him King as our love for Him overwhelms because He first loved us.
In those moments, Seth was really turning to his own illusion of how the god he could understand would respond. In it's most basic form, this god smites the masturbater but gives favor when one does not look at their girlfriend's breast. Stay the course and do not mess and life will work itself out. Despite being overly simplistic, this is the most manageable form of the god we tend to create. A savior that operates off the very morals we tend to agree with so we can earn favor. This understanding of God and validity of the presence of such a shallow god, however, is debatable, to say the least. For a God that does not create conflict in our heart is a god of little change. Does that really sound like the true Creator? The Redeemer? Our hope?
See Seth scoffed at the Pharisees for how arrogant they lived but lived his own life in a world of rules. Obedience was not executed out of overwhelming adoration for what a bloody Savior did on an unfit cross. Obedience was performed in an attempt to win favor. As each erection faded post-masturbation, so did Seth's ticket into heaven. Or so Seth had come to believe. Nevertheless, the Bible fails to mention what is the amount of time between sexual immorality incidences, whether alone or in partnered selfish ambition, that one needs to find favor with God. If one goes to church, does this speed up the process? This very conundrum is why Catholicism so quickly fails to glorify the undead Savior and why Seth found himself looking more like a Pharisee, a wolf in sheep's clothing, than one that actually pursued the Savior. Perhaps most alarming is the fact that what made Seth a wolf was not the struggle with porn and masturbation, but the very thought that the manageable god Seth created, one that decreed refraining from masturbation would save Seth's life, made him a believer in an age-old lie.
Slowly Seth began to realize the very nature of the way the devil wants us to believe in the god we can understand. Is it not the same thing the Pharisee had come to expect through years of practice? Within an arm's distance stood the revelation of God in the flesh and yet carrots and LASIK could not help them see the hope that would hang on a cross. How could they? The god they had expected stood in the mirror, a god that reflected the standard by which they hoped to live. Seth worshiped this god daily, but missed valuable time he could have had getting to know the real Savior. The Savior that very much loves and very much judges. The Savior that longs for our fellowship but will sit on the throne of judgment. The Savior that reconciles us to Him while fulfilling the law. The perfect Priest and perfect Judge. The Savior that took our place on the cross.
For years Seth chased a God that was not obtainable through any human action. Into a world unraveling through the pursuit of evil came a Savior to bridge the gap. What once separated God and man was our very desire to take the place of God, destroyed by the abandoned Savior's death on the cross. A death Seth deserved to die.
Seth peers up at the cross as a drop of blood crashes into Seth's cheek and cascades down his face. For years he ran as fast as he could to the cross to show he could do what only Christ could do. The blood grows in size, collecting the dust and debris Seth has accumulated trying to win this battle himself. Rapidly the blood pulls Seth to the ground as he lay motionless, engulfed by the blood that has covered his entire body.
Slowly a warmth fills Seth, and he looks up. Thorns and thistles retreat at the coming of a glowing figure. The cross fades away in the distance. A King ascends to heaven as Seth finally sees how the blood covers the sins that once weighed Seth down. Once Seth finally submitted, he could be made clean. The vision fades, and the light beams. Arising from his bed, Seth begins to see. Christ has forgiven. Things are changing. And they changed on the cross.