I love the story that Andrew Purves tells about feeling that Jesus had grabbed him by the scruff of the neck as a mother cat does her kitten. In that case you go where the loving mother cat wants you to go. After reading a pastor’s sermon where he calls the redemptive story of Jesus’ death and resurrection a fiction made up by the writers of the New Testament, I thought of Purves’ story again. My first thought was to pray for this pastor that Jesus might walk into his life and grab him by the scuff of his neck and surprise him with salvation. And I have, and do and will.
But the next thought I had was how better to have the mother cat take you where there is safety in her care than to have the Lion grab you with finality and judgment. And my third thought is how all of us are so rebellious toward the goodness of Christ, even when it is gently placed like a cloak around our shoulders. Praise God for the great mercy and love of the Triune God, the Father who sent the Son, the Son who submitted his life for our sake, the Holy Spirit who woos and seals and walks us home.
"But Jesus called them to himself and said, 'You know that the rulers of the Gentiles Lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant. And whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:25-28)."