“I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?’” (Revelation 6:12-17)
More Than A Crutch
Have you ever been accused of using “religion as a crutch”? “Religion is only for the weak, something to help them sleep at night.” I’ve been told that many times. But this judgment has several serious flaws. First, those who make those judgements against people of faith endure many crutches of their own. Maybe that crutch is alcohol, drugs, promiscuity, role-playing games, video games, or some other form of escapism, though the latter two are not as damaging as the previous. The fact remains that we all indulge in means of using life experiences as a ‘crutch’ to get us through the day-to-day, be it bad crutches or less harmful ones. Maybe that source of security and purpose stems from a relationship, job, or a status that comes with those things.
Second, God is far more than a “crutch” to us. He is our very existence. Who but God keeps our hearts beating 118,000 times every day, pumping one and a half gallons of nutrient-rich blood through 60,000 miles of arteries and capillaries to all 40-trillion cells of our body – then removes their waste? Who keeps our lungs breathing, our kidneys filtering blood, our GI-tract processing the food we eat? Who but God keeps our brain firing away commands to regulate all this activity? We don’t do it. God’s infinite mind and power make it all happen – in the body of every human being on this planet. Yes, God is a crutch to all of us. Though only a few seem to acknowledge it.
The Ultimate Reality
God isn’t just an escape from the harsh realities of life. God Himself is the ultimate reality which Christian believers acknowledge every day and to whom they reconcile themselves and submit. It is the unbeliever who seeks to escape this ultimate reality of who God can be in their lives. Not a crutch, and not just an ideology to comfort us while we sleep. He is our protector, our Father, our very real friend. Having this knowledge of who He is to us makes Christ feel like a relationship, not a religion.
But here, as Christ breaks the sixth seal of the mysterious scroll, we see every false crutch and object of humanity’s trust swept away. Just as God was judging the ‘gods’ of Egypt through the plagues (Exodus 12:12), these judgments are directed against all the traditional false ‘gods’ of humanity. Rather than submit to the true God, humanity has created gods of its own, gods we have tried to manipulate for our own ends and purposes. For millennia humanity has worshipped the sun, which God extinguishes. They worshipped the moon, which God turns to blood. They worshipped the sky which God splits apart, the ‘host of heaven’ (i.e. the stars) which God knocks out of the sky, and the mountains which God levels. Even now, stripped of every other false crutch and false trust, humanity must face the Creator they have ignored for a lifetime and there is no escape.
Isn’t it far better to reconcile yourself to the ultimate reality that is God now rather than wait until after you have selfishly wasted your life and have nothing to offer Him? Isn’t it better to come to Christ as your Savior than to face Him as your Judge? Jesus has already borne your sins and offences for you on the cross. Now He offers to bear your burdens and give you rest – if you’ll only yield to His leadership and trust His grace.
Dear Lord Jesus, here and now I acknowledge You as the true reality of my existence. You created me. You sustain my life. And You suffered and died for my sins on the cross. Lord, I open my heart and life to You. Please come into my heart. Cleanse me from every sin and save my soul. By Your resurrection power transform my heart and make me more and more like You. Amen.+