Across the Pastor’s Desk: He is safe in repentance, faith
Published 8:00 pm Friday, February 3, 2023
Across the Pastor’s Desk by Kent Otterman
Is Jesus safe?
That may seem like an odd question, but it comes from the well-known story by C. S. Lewis called “The Chronicles of Narnia.” At a certain point two girls named Susan and Lucy are getting ready to meet Aslan the lion, who represents Jesus Christ. Mr. and Mrs. Beaver are telling the girls about Aslan. At one point in the conversation Susan says, “Ooh, I thought he (Aslan) was a man. Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
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“That you will, dearie,” said Mrs. Beaver. “And make no mistake, if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then isn’t he safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? Of course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king, I tell you!”
These truths about Jesus echo what David writes about God in Psalm 34:8 where he writes, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”
Then David writes, “fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.”
God is good, but he is also to be feared. The Old Testament often talks about having the “fear of the Lord.” What is that?
One theologian writes that the fear of the Lord is “a loving reverence for God that includes submission to his lordship and to the commands of his word.”
A God-fearing person is someone who believes in and loves God and who seeks to be obedient to him.
In Revelation 5:5 Jesus is called the “lion of the tribe of Judah.” Lions symbolize power, fierceness and majesty. The apostles’ creed says that Jesus will “come again to judge the living and the dead.” Is Jesus safe? The biblical answer is “ it depends.”
It depends on what? On what your relationship with him is like.
John 3:18 says, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only son.” John 3:36 states, “whoever believes in the son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”
I Corinthians 1:18 says, “for the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” We see in these verses that there are only two groups of people spiritually: those who are perishing and those who are being saved.
Going back to Psalm 34 David writes, “the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry; the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.” (Psalm 34:15-16) For those who reject Jesus, the writer of Hebrews says, “it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” — Hebrews 10:31.
But know this truth about God: “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” — II Peter 3:9
Is Jesus safe?
Yes, if you come to him in humble repentance and faith. What did Jesus say when he first began to preach? “The time has come. The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” — Mark 1:15
Kent Otterman is chaplain at Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea and pastor of Round Prairie Lutheran Church of rural Glenville and Faith Lutheran Church of London.