It is not common to pull up into a restaurant parking lot for breakfast only to see a car slowly roll past you going backwards. “Wow, nice car! Huh, why is it rolling backwards across the parking lot? Why isn’t there anyone driving it? Oh no, its headed for that bank!” One moment I’m exiting my vehicle thinking about a tasty breakfast and the next I’m sprinting behind an unmanned car. I am the only thing standing in the way of this Porsche Panamera from crashing into a bank. That’s right I “risked my life” to save a luxury car from crashing into a financial institution. ‘Merica!
Trust me I am no hero. I can’t help but think, “would I have done the same for a Ford Pinto?” On a scale of morality or religious piety would I rate myself closer to a Porsche Panamera or a Ford Pinto?
One of Jesus’ followers and church planters had this to say about the sacrifice Jesus made for mankind,
“We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.” – The Apostle Paul, Romans 5:6-8 (Message Bible)
I’d like to think that my religious piety is more like the Porsche but in reality, it’s more like a Pinto. Jesus didn’t keep a Porsche from rolling into a metaphorical bank he jumped in front of a Ford Pinto, a beat up rusty Pinto (please no offense if you own one, also don’t read too much into this metaphor like “does that mean that banks represent hell?”)
The NIV version of Romans 5:7 says, “that while we were still powerless, Christ died for [us].” The Porsche was powerless. The gentle slope in the parking lot was just enough for that Porsche to build up plenty of momentum to cause a lot of damage to itself and anything that got in its way.
We don’t wake up and say, “I’m going to wreck my life today.” There is a slow downward drift to life that feels gentle but overtime builds up enough momentum to not only harm us but others. This is the powerlessness of the ungodly person. The Godless person’s trajectory is toward destruction.
I can be biased. Would I sacrifice for an enemy or someone I love? Am I willing to befriend the poor or am I more willing to seek the friendship of the rich?
Standing behind the Porsche I began to cry for help. Finally, the owner of the car took notice and came out of the restaurant.
“How’d my car get over there?”
“I don’t know it just started rolling. Maybe you forgot to put it in park.”
He was puzzled and grateful. He bought my breakfast and my friend’s.
With Jesus, he stops you from crashing and he takes care of your meal. That’s love and grace.
Jesus take the wheel! Something tells me that Jesus not only jumps behind a Pinto to keep it from crashing,
He drives one too. He has no shame. He is proud. With joy he jumps into the driver’s seat of every car he saves.
What about you? Would you jump behind a Pinto?
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