There’s no such thing as good people
From nice old ladies to convicted killers - we're all bad people needing Jesus.
When I was in about third grade I would put on sweat pants (my ninja pants), tie a belt around my head (my ninja bandana) and watch 3 shows: Power Rangers, G.I. Joe and Ninja Turtles.
I loved watching the good guys beat the bad guys. It would always be kind of close until the end, when the good guys would pull through, save the day and beat the bad guys. For a third grader, each episode is an epic adventure.
I would go outside afterwards, pick up a tool in the garage and swing it around pretending to be a good guy beating the bad guys.
It’s in us to believe in this. Whether it’s sports, politics, fiction, whatever – we’re always looking for the good guys to beat the bad guys.
Our worldview comes crashing down, however, when we realize that all of this isn’t reality. It doesn’t even have the possibility of being real. It’s all fake and it’s all a lie.
The good and the bad
The lie is that there are two groups of people: good people and bad people. I think in some strange way all of us believe that.
The truth is that there are two groups of people: bad people and Jesus. There is only one person in the Jesus group by the way - and that’s Jesus. So guess what group you fall in.
What this means is that if a thief comes in my house tonight, steals all my stuff and then shoots me on the way out, a bad guy didn’t kill a good guy. A bad guy killed a bad guy.
If two people get hit by a bus and one is an ex-con and the other is a nice old lady, it’s twisted for us to ignore the ex-con and mourn the nice old lady as if, somehow, the ex-con deserved it and the old lady didn’t. As weird as this may sound, they are both equally guilty before God. They’re both the same. And we should mourn their death the same.
Why we're all in the same boat
We are all sinners but there are two kinds of sin: public sin and private sin.
Public sin: We saw you shoot that guy. We saw you get handcuffed. We saw you on the news. Everyone knows what you’ve done.
Private sin: We saw you at church. We saw you at youth group. We did not see those angry thoughts you had towards your neighbor.
Whether our sin is more public or more private, either way, we’re still in the 'bad people' group.
A new group of new people
What Jesus does is amazing. He dies for the entire world.
How does that happen? How can he help them all in one shot? Simple. He dies for bad people. Since that’s the only other group, it’s all taken care of.
He takes the blame, the fall and the hit so that they can go free, just like he did when he rose again from the grave.
If you will follow Jesus, he will bring you into the fold of the only other group on earth: the new people (a.k.a. the church).
New people aren’t 'good people', they're still sinners, but they are God’s people. By accepting Jesus' death and resurrection and following him, they are slowly but surely being recreated and made into the image of their saviour.
New people with power
Therefore, the church is truly the closest thing we have to a real deal team of Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles.
It’s the closest thing on earth to the good guys beating the bad guys: Christians waging spiritual warfare on the Devil and his angels in order to rescue other bad people, by bringing them to Jesus, so that they too can live in peace as new people.
I believe that there, and only there, can we truly live out what is naturally in us: the desire to see good win over evil.
So I dare say, what we’re naturally looking for in movies, fiction and comic books is really Jesus and his people. So get on your ninja pants and join the fight!