Nothing New

Nothing New

            My wife and I saw a popular new movie recently. In the few days it has been open it has made hundreds of millions, maybe billions, of dollars. It was a good movie; I enjoyed watching it and will likely watch it again sometime. But I had seen it before.  No not the movie, but the story. I was disappointed in how many elements it borrowed from its predecessor. I guess I shouldn’t really be surprised. After all, there are only so many different stories to tell. All fiction is the retelling of one of only seven basic plot lines. (How many different ways can Hallmark retell Cinderella or Romeo and Juliet?) It reminded me of something Solomon said, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”  (Ecc. 1:9 NIV-1984)

            Solomon was right (no surprise there). We commit the same sins our ancestors did. We sometimes think no one could be as bad as we are. No one could commit a sin as bad as my sin. But, “there is nothing new under the sun.” And all of us sin, no one is immune (“… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23)

            Our sin is the same and the cost is the same: “… the wages of sin is death …” (Rom 6:23). The remedy is also the same. We must turn to God for forgiveness just as the Israelites needed to do and ultimately as Christians learned to do. Through all of the Old Testament, even from before he laid the foundations of the world, God’s path for forgiveness was the same – His Son, Jesus. All of the sacrifices offered under the Law of Moses pointed ahead to the death of Jesus. When Jesus came and died on a cross to pay for our sins, the path became clear. That path remains the same today. Our message should be, as Peter said, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven, given to men by which we must be saved.”  (Acts 4:12)

            In the movies, though the people and circumstances are usually different, the stories are not new. Our personal stories are not new either. Any temptation we face has been faced before by someone else. “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.”  (I Cor. 10:13) And God offers the same means of escape – his son, Jesus, needed by and available to everyone.  There is nothing new under the sun.

            Larry Meissner, January 2, 2016

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