I don’t think we as individuals appreciate the sacrifice that was done by Jesus when He died on the cross for us as pure, unadulterated sinners. When you look at the OT and see the drastic measures that people who decided to follow God were called according to His purposed, but yet reneged on their vows were dealt, I have to be silent and humbled before God. The term, “you are awesome” in reference to Jesus means something different to me when I consider everything that went into operation to ensure that I can have an opinion that at times might be contrary to what the Word dictates or expects
Let us consider Moses in his dealing with the Israelites and how they challenged him pretty much every step of the way; they saw the manifest appearance of God in all His glory; they experienced great miracles and outstanding works of destiny defying acts, yet still they were brave enough to stand up and be defiant before God.
Contrasting the audacity of the OT practices of flagrantly complaining in view of these experiences, we look at this one instance where Korah, Dathan and Abiram in a fit of envy against Moses position challenged him to his face and instigated an attempted coup. Moses dealt with this complaining spirit by attacking it from the root, he spoke to God and requested that He disregard their offering, “And Moses was very wroth, and said unto the Lord, Respect not thou their offering: I have not taken one ass from them, neither have I hurt one of them (Numbers 16:15 KJV). This is important in that it boggles the mind to think that one man can have the authority with the Almighty God and curtail or circumvent the actions of other followers; this shows that with God, it is all about relationship.
God as a result of His relationship with Moses and in order to respect that task He had given him to carry out, deferred to Moses requests and proceeded to order a total annihilation of the group of complainers, “And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment” (Numbers 16:20, 21 KJV). My God, that was a raw demonstration of power in agreement and operation.
Not to get away from the purpose of this writing, let’s look at what the coming of Jesus was able to accomplish for us. Although Moses is described as a type of Savior, when Jesus came, He demonstrated a deeper and more intense compassion for the peculiar behavior of humans, one in particular being the proclivity to complain incessantly.
Jesus was surrounded by some of His disciples doing what He loved doing: teaching. After He goes through the points He wanted to make, Peter pipes up, as he was wont to do and asks (more likely complain to) Jesus, “Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee” (Mark 10:28 KJV). Basically Peter was putting into words what they all were feeling but would not voice: “we’ve given up everything we own to follow you, how and where are our payment for all this running around that we are doing”.
Jesus simple explained and assured them that, “verily I say unto you, there is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life” (Mark 10:28-30). To break it down in lay language, Jesus was saying, “bro, you gonna get paid; it might cost you some persecution, but you gonna get paid, in this life and in the life to come”.
Jesus was able to wrap up a potential deadly situation which if it had occurred in the OT in Moses rule, could have caused some serious damages to unfold. I am grateful for many things in my life, but more so for Jesus, who stands in the gap for me at the right hand of God. Putting himself on the cross over and over to bargain for my life which I endanger by my foolish tendency to complain when it could be worse; when instead of seeing the beauty of the snow, I complain about the cold and ice; instead of considering the rain as a cleansing wave, I complain about the wet and inconvenience; instead of appreciating the sun and its warmth and everything it’s accomplishing, I whine about it being so hot.
Many people have left this world without getting a chance of really tapping into life and doing everything they would have wanted to in this life, but many of us have the chance and don’t appreciate it, and to back it up we complain about simple, non consequential things which blow over after a while.
What are you grateful for today; do you really appreciate Jesus for dying on the cross so that we can say yes and no? Are you appreciative of life?