I have a collection of old rusty keys. I also have some nice, shiny ones. They come in handy. They connect to Calvary.
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” —Genesis 3:15.
The story begins in Genesis with the first couple and the first sin—at least as far as the historical record is concerned. God’s plan to deal with what He knew was inevitable began long before time began, as is suggested in Revelation 13:8 when John refers to the “…the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.”
It's a pity. No sin, no need for a Saviour, or a cross.
James Kennedy remarks in Cross Purposes, Discovering the Great Love of God for You, that we seldom if ever hear the word sin used today—not even from many of our pulpits. Many people go so far as to deny that such a thing as sin exists. We have invented more “politically correct” terms to describe it—and excuse it. Kennedy once used the following example to illustrate sin’s existence.
“I remember…saying,...‘ I wonder if I may see your keys. Do you have a key ring?’ The man reached into his pocket and pulled out a key ring. I said to him, ‘If there’s no such thing as sin, sir, tell me, why do you have these?’ He was speechless. He has keys because he has locks. And why does he have locks? Because he has things locked up. And why does he have things locked up? Because there are people who would steal them if he didn’t. And why would they steal them? Because they’re sinners. That’s why.” (page 23)
Adam and Eve decided to steal God’s glory by trying to become like Him. Satan made this claim, “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). The first couple fell for the lie. We've been falling for his lies ever since.
Their decision made Calvary necessary. Our decisions, as sinners who have followed the path of our ancient ancestors, made Calvary necessary. From the beginning of recorded history God promised the coming of a Saviour. Satan would try to destroy Him, but He who would conqueror death on one glorious Resurrection morning would also conqueror Satan and sin on one strangely glorious dark and deadly Friday.
Perhaps our need to reduce the cross in our worship and in our practice as believers is related to our desperate need to deny the sin in us that made the cross necessary.
But all of us must confess to having keys—and the locks that go with them—for a reason.