I wanted to finish some thoughts from my previous blog entitled “Jesus is a Time Lord.” I wrote about how Christ-like the character of the Doctor emulates the Savior of the universe. I’ll briefly run through these attributes once more:
Jesus is a Time Lord. He left an alien world called “Heaven/Eternity” and he came to us looking like us (Phil. 2:7) (John 1:14). He takes us on this amazing journey called life that has bumps, bruises, and sometimes scars that are visible and invisible in our lives (John 16:33) (Romans 8:35-36). When he finds us, we are consumed with this dark energy called “sin,” and he knows that we are going to die because there is no way for us to get it out of our bodies (Romans 3:23). So what does Jesus do? He calls out to us just like the Doctor calls out to Rose, “I am coming to get you. I will save you” (I Tim. 1:15)…
And this is where I want to pick up again. In Season 3 of Dr. Who, there is an episode entitled “42.” In this episode, the Dr. and his new companion, Martha, arrive on a space ship that is careening into the alien sun in 42 minutes. The Doctor only has 42 dwindling minutes to save everyone’s lives.
During this race against the clock, Martha becomes trapped in an escape pod. She tries to get out, but the pod separates from the ship and begins falling even quicker into the alien sun. And just like the Doctor told Rose that he would save her, the Doctor (played by David Tennant) calls out to Martha with a declaration:
(I also love this video because it evokes every man’s dream to save the girl and be a hero)
This scene provides a powerful, thought provoking analogy: Just like Martha trapped herself in the escape pod, we trapped ourselves in sin through our First Parents (Romans 5:12). When the space pod broke free from the space ship, that was just like us as the sin we were trapped in caused us to break away from God (Romans 5:18). Just as the space pod began careening into the sun, we too went into a free fall of sin (Romans 5:6). We found that we could not save ourselves, just like Martha could not save herself.
But then something happened…
…or should I say that someone happened?
God called out, “I will save you!”
We fell farther away, enwrapped in space like darkness of sin.
“I will save you!”
We could not hear his voice due to sin marring our spiritual ears just like space will not allow sound to travel from one point to the other.
“I will save you!”
Can you see God mouthing those very powerful words to you just as the Doctor mouthed the words to Martha?
God did mouth them to you…
“I will save you!”
And he did.
Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn't, and doesn't, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn't been so weak, we wouldn't have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him (Romans 5:6, The Message).
I went running one Sunday morning at the end of August, processing through my life. When I finished, I began to walk around. As I was walking, I began thinking of prevenient grace. You may be asking me as to what that means. Very simply, it is this: God called out your name, he sought you out first, and he desired to save you. When you heard him calling your name, you answered, and he saved you. Now, this must be understood, you did not seek God out first (John 6:44). This must also be understood, you were an enemy of God and you never desired God till he began calling out to you (Romans 5:8). It is in this prevenient grace/drawing that we see the love of God (Romans 5:6-10). God loves people that are his enemies, and yet he dies for them. True enemies do not desire to be like their adversary. Thus, we as enemies did not desire to be like our adversary, God.
But he loved us…
And he called out to us…
He continues to call out to us…
…for a deeper relationship with him.
The prevenient grace/drawing is not over. But there is now a requirement for us. James 4:8 tells us, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
I was praying with a group of young men that work for me at the university I work for here in Tulsa, OK. In my prayer I stated that if we do not desire to draw near to God, then God, help us want to desire to draw near to God. Help me want to want you God. If I have no desire for you, plant a seed of desire in me. And though this is an enigma of a prayer, the prayer itself is a catalyst, an agent of supernatural chemical change that alters my sinful, prideful desire to want to satisfy me and not God and thereby to “regenerate” and suddenly desire God.
You see, Jesus is a Time Lord, especially when you need a hero in your life. When we were in trouble, he desired us and called out to us and told us he was going to save us…and he did.
We were trapped in our space pods of sin, falling into the entropy of sin like Martha was falling into the alien sun. God called out and assured us he would save us. And he did.
Now it is your turn to call out to him.
He does not need saving, that is a fact.
And I am convinced that I need God more than he will ever need me.
But I am even more convinced that God loves me more than I will ever be able to love him.
He called out to me and gave me grace to choose him.
These days, I have come to a place in life where I call out to him…