Have you noticed how brutal the speech and actions of the Bible are? If you were to evaluate your knowledge of God based on a handful of sermons you heard in church, one might conclude that we have a peaceful, quiet religion that is sure to make you into a nicer person.
Real life and real Bible give us a vastly different picture. You would be wide-eyed and shocked at the brutality, adultery, incest, betrayal and genocide that fills our Holy Book and the horrific actions of some of our greatest Bible heroes.
In the real world of bad behaviour, bad attitudes and prejudice, Jesus has come. Jesus is a lamb in a slaughterhouse world. In a world where billions live and die, one of these is not like the others. Jesus speaks the language of the outsider and the oppressed, but without guile. He befriends the worst of us brutes and outcasts with a mission of transforming love.
The Lord is not only a lamb, but also a lion. He is meek and yet incredibly mighty. Jesus is humble and lowly, but also the King of Kings returning with a sword.
The critics of Jesus and followers will always point to the violence and judgmental characteristics of the Almighty to show us that we should not accept this warrior god. And so, we struggle with the notion that God can be both Judge and Lover. We want a smaller god who is nicer. We claim we want the Kingdom of God (provided of course that it does not offend us).
Jesus is building the Kingdom of God. It is beyond imagination and will ultimately change everything that can be changed. God always has and always will bring injustice and oppression to an end. Our problem is that we continue to live in a world that is partially built. We too, may die like lambs in a slaughterhouse. When will the lions change so that lambs can live fearlessly? When will there be peace on earth?