11: God Was The First To Cancel
**To kick off our Daniel series, and in preparation for moving into our new home on October 18th, the elders have invited our church family to a 28-day season of prayer and fasting. These daily devotionals correspond with the 28-day Bible reading countdown to the day we celebrate our soft opening.**
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13-14
If you haven’t noticed, things are getting canceled today. From T.V. shows to maple syrup, it’s a very trendy thing to do. They call it, “Cancel Culture.” This movement aims to boycott or “cancel” anything that, to them—by their standards— appears unfair, racist, misogynistic, or demeaning. Practically, it’s social shaming based upon a perceived social aggression.
So if you don’t hold the “right” opinions, you’re canceled.
If you don’t vote for the “right person”, you’re canceled.
If you don’t agree with their narrative, you’re canceled.
Wow, that’s serious, you say. What are these heinous things? Please tell me so I can avoid them as well!
Let’s take a look.
The first culprit is Paw Patrol (a wholesome kid's cartoon about puppies who rescue other cute, furry animals): Canceled
Next is Gone With the Wind: Canceled (Wait, that old black and white film? Yup. Canceled).
Uncle Ben’s Rice? Canceled.
Aunt Jemima’s Maple Syrup? Canceled.
Kentucky Fried Chicken? Canceled, canceled, canceled. (Wait, what? Yeah…we don’t want to encourage people with that “finger-licking-good-chicken” (since finger-licking isn’t the best of ideas these days).
Sounds pretty silly, doesn’t it? But actually, Paul seems to think that this kind of “silly” happens all the time, and he assumes the people he’s writing to are facing crazy philosophies.
Paul says, “I tell you this [understanding who Jesus is and all that He has for us] so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.” (Colossians 2:4)
He says again, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)
And again, he says, “Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person is…puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.” (Colossians 2:20)
Paul wanted to remind us that there are philosophies and arguments out there that sound spiritual and look humble and have the appearance of wisdom but are actually false (2:23).
Let’s take a look at what’s actually really serious in the mind of God.
What was really serious and what was really a big deal was my sin and your sin. My debt and your debt. Our offenses weren’t something that could be swept under the cosmic rug. Our rebellion wasn’t something God could look the other way and ignore, precisely because it had penetrated into the very fiber of all of His creation.
Our sin, our defiance, our revolt, our disobedience was punishable by eternal judgment and separation from His presence.
And it gets even worse: we weren’t just sick, we were dead. Dead to anything that was right and godly. We weren’t just on life-support, we were in the grave.
But thankfully, God stepped in and canceled something.
Paul says, “When you were dead in your sins…God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.”
On the bloody cross, what theologians call “The Great Exchange” took place: my sin was placed on Christ, and His righteousness was placed on me.
God looked at the precious blood of His Son and said, “The debt is canceled.”
Wow. Who would have guessed that long before Cancel Culture, God was the first one to cancel things that were offensive.
Thank you, Jesus. May we live in such a way today that reflects “the grave has no claim on me.”
Take some time today to thank God for canceling the things that really mattered.