I typically don’t have any trouble falling asleep. I suppose this stems from the fact that I get up early and go to bed late most evenings. I’m a strange combination of early bird and night owl. Perhaps I have some vampires in my family tree. But I digress.
Monday night was an exception to this rule. After I finished scheduling Monday’s post, I was not in the least bit tired. Instead of my typical go-to (reading a few chapters of whatever book I happen to be reading), I decided to watch a movie I had recorded earlier in the week.
The movie was The Box. The opening of the movie goes like this:
A package is placed on the front doorstep of a house. The wife brings the package to the kitchen table, where her husband opens it while wife and son look on. Inside the package is a box with a large, red button encased in a clear dome. There is a note inside the packaging which states that someone will be by at 5:00 pm the following day to explain the box. A man shows up at the door as promised, and explains to the wife that if she pushes the button, two things will happen—Someone they do not know will die, and the family will receive one million dollars in cash. Of course, the wife needs an expensive operation, the private school she is teaching at will soon discontinue the waiving of tuition for teacher’s children, and the husband’s dream job has fallen through. Oh, and it’s 1976, so a million dollars is actually quite a bit of money. Of course…
At first glance, this particular scenario does not seem like much of a moral dilemma. Accepting money, regardless of amount, in return for causing the death of another person is simply not acceptable in any scenario I could imagine.
But what if the man had said, “If you push the button…
…your mounting debt will be paid in full, but someone else would take on a crushing debt they could not afford to pay, or
…your book will be a critical and commercial success, but an equally talented (or more talented) author will never be published, or
…your struggling ministry will begin to grow and reach the lost, but another church will die, or
…your father’s Alzheimer’s will be cured, but someone else’s father would be stricken it, or
…your child’s disease will be gone, but another child would become sick in her place, or
…your unborn child will be born healthy, but at the expense of the life of another child unborn?
Do any of these scenarios tip the scales?
How about this one?
Your sins—past, present and future will be washed clean as snow, but at the cost of the perfect, unblemished sacrifice; at the cost of the Son of God—the only One without sin.
As we draw closer to the holiest of holidays, I pray we not only understand this sacrifice in our heads, but also in our hearts.