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Don’t Look Up?

In late 2021 Netflix released a movie titled “Don’t Look Up” where two scientists discover a large asteroid that is on a collision course for Earth.  Of course, this is hardly an original concept as there are a handful of movies that share the same overall plotline. 

Where the movie differs in it’s plot is the overall reaction of the people.  The President of the United States, who is distracted with her own personal problems, doesn’t quite seem to catch the gravity of the situation.  Her chief of staff who is also her son scolds the pair of scientists when they suggest that there is a 100% probability that the asteroid will hit earth. 

After striking out with world leaders the pair decides to take their news to the press.  They appear on a morning show to drop their bombshell announcement only to have it censored in the interest of keeping things light and fun.

Even the common citizens pay little attention to the news, reducing it to the subject of clever tweets and memes.

There is a key turning point in the movie when the asteroid is so close to earth that it becomes visible to the naked eye.  This emboldens the scientists to tell the citizens, the media and their leaders to just look up.  Look up and you can see the coming destruction.

As mankind, we may or may not be facing an asteroid, hurdling through space on a direct path to our planet.  What we are faced with, however, is as Paul puts it in Romans 1, the wrath of God that has been revealed from heaven against all ungodliness, unrighteousness and the unrighteous suppression of truth.  Like the approaching asteroid in this movie, there is a 100% certainty of wrath that even now is being revealed from heaven.

Recently in our Sunday School class we read the account of the bronze serpent that Moses held up in the wilderness.  God had just delivered a mighty enemy into their hands, but as was the norm with Israel, the next minute they were complaining again longing to return to the chains of Egypt.

As a punishment for their wickedness, God sent venomous snakes among them.  Many were bitten and died.  The people recognized their need to repent and they cried out to Moses that he might intercede on their behalf.  Moses did and God responded.  He instructed Moses to craft a bronze snake and that when it was lifted up, whoever looked on the bronze snake would be healed from the venom of the snake.

It’s such a peculiar story.  Why would God have him make a snake?

In the Gospel of John, Jesus compares himself to this bronze snake in the wilderness, saying that “the son of man” must likewise be lifted up, that whoever looks on him would be saved.

It’s easy when we look at the cross of Christ to see the Love of God.  After all, Paul writes in Romans 5 that God demonstrated his love in the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  But like the snake in the wilderness we shouldn’t forget that the cross is also a picture of God’s wrath.

In the cross is where the love, mercy, and grace of God is displayed set against the background of His wrath and justice.  For there to be propitiation (sin payment), a high price had to be paid.  The requirement?  The blood of God himself.  An infinite price for infinite debt. 

The cross is a picture of the curse, just like the bronze serpent was a picture of the very curse that plagued Israel.  We must look upon the curse, the impending wrath that was owed to us and the perfect savior that became sin for us so that we could be healed.

When we see Him high and lifted up on the cross and we put our trust in him there is an exchange of epic proportions.  Isaiah said it like this, “He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquity, the punishment for our peace (with God) was upon Him and with His stripes we are healed.”

In this movie, the leaders and the media launch a campaign after the asteroid becomes visible.  The campaign slogan is “Don’t Look Up!”  This is what the world will tell you today.

Don’t look up, there is no wrath to come.

Don’t look up, there is no objective morality.

Don’t look up, your behavior is a symptom of unmet needs and chemical imbalances.

Don’t look up, religion is an invention of man.

Don’t look up, you’re the apple of God’s eye.

It comes in many forms and the list could go on and on.

But if you do look up, you see a world that is eating itself alive and unraveling at the seams.  This is the outworking of the wrath of God that is being revealed from heaven. Like an asteroid, soaring through space, one day the full weight of that wrath will come.

As we see that day growing closer and closer, what are we to do?

Look up!  Look up and put all your trust in the living Christ!

Look up! To the one who became sin for us and offers us His righteousness.

Look up! And keep your eyes fixed on Him!

Look up! For your redemption draws near.  Yes, one of these days he will come with the armies of heaven to gather his beloved from the four corners of the earth, so that where He is, we may be also.

Colossians 3:1-4
1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

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