Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Indiana Jones

In the blockbuster movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana was in search of the Holy Grail. This is supposedly the cup from which Jesus drank at the Last Supper. Whoever sipped from it would receive everlasting life. Through a series of circumstances, Indiana was forced to make his way past three "challenges."

He has clues written in a book that he holds in his hand. As he makes his way toward the Grail, his first clue is "The penitent man will pass." He repeats the words over and over. Suddenly the clue dawns on him. He whispers, "The penitent man is humble before God...kneel!" He instantly drops to his knees, and as he does so, two spinning blades slice the air where his head had just been. He has made it past the first challenge.

The second is a group of steppingstones with letters of the alphabet on them. The clue is "Proceed in the footsteps of the Word of God." Again, he says the clue repeatedly. Then he whispers, "The name of God is Jehovah," and takes his first step, almost falling to his death as the steppingstone gives way. He then realizes that the name of God in Latin begins with the letter "I." He steps it out and successfully completes the second challenge.

The third challenge is to pass over a huge, bottomless chasm—with no bridge. The clue given is "The path of God. Only a leap from a lion’s head will prove his worth." Indiana is understandably terrified at the thought of stepping off the edge over a deep crevasse when there is nothing upon which to step. But he has no choice. He must stand by the stone carving of the lion’s head and take a leap of faith. He closes his eyes and steps out onto nothing.

Suddenly his foot touches something solid. The camera angle moves to one side, revealing that the path upon which he had stepped was optically invisible. He walks across the path and then scoops up some sand to toss back onto it, so that those following might see the way more clearly. He has passed the third challenge.

He approaches a table upon which more than a dozen ancient cups are sitting. Most are made of gold or silver. Which one is the Holy Grail? A knight holding a sword tells him that he must choose. He says, "Choose wisely. The true Grail will give you life. The false grail will take it from you." Those who drink from the wrong cup will find that the curse of the Genesis Fall will take place in seconds, rather than the lifetime it normally takes to age and then die.

Indiana ignores the golden cups, picks up a plain one and says, "The cup of a carpenter..." He sips from the cup, and lives. The knight smiles and says, "You have chosen wisely."

Although this captivating story is fiction, it echoes the gospel truth. There is only one way to approach God, and that is through bowing the knee. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. If you refuse to humble yourself before God, you will suffer swift and terrible consequences. These are not my thoughts; they are the clues, the pointers, the indications from the Book that says it is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.

The second clue was the name of God. The Book tells us that God has given Jesus a name that is above every other name. It warns, "There is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). It couldn’t be clearer. The Bible spells it out for us—so be careful where you step.

Now you stand before the great chasm of eternity. You know that you have to humble yourself. You know the only name that can save you. Now you must take a step of faith to prepare for eternity, for without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Are you fearful to take that step? You have no choice. Death could seize upon you before you finish reading this sentence...and then you will find yourself in eternity, standing guilty before a Holy God, without a Savior.

The Bible tells us that God has "hidden these things from the wise and prudent" (Matthew 11:25). What is hidden from your eyes at the moment will be revealed to you after you have taken that step. I took it more than thirty years ago and it proved trustworthy. It is a narrow way, but one in which the Lord will uphold you with His hand. Through this blog I am trying my best to make the way apparent for you, so that you can see the path more clearly.

After that step is taken, you may drink from the Cup of Salvation. It isn’t made with gold or silver. Nor is it the cold cup of a dead, rich, ritualistic religion. It is a lowly Carpenter’s cup—the way of humility and faith, given by the One who said, "Blessed are those who...thirst for righteousness" (Matthew 5:6).

Being a Christian means identifying with something the world despises—righteousness. But the way of righteousness is the way to everlasting life (Proverbs 12:28). There is no other way.

(Adapted from What Hollywood Believes.)