laws of physics: equal and opposite reactions

Category : God, different, faith, miracles, sin

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For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

This is a famous law that plays out in virtually every aspect of life.  If you drop a ball the energy will have to go somewhere, it doesn’t just disappear.  So the ball bounces back up toward you.  If you’re driving your car and slam into a wall, your car is crushed and you’re likely to be in the hospital.  If you use hate and violence to “get back at” someone, they will likely turn around and use hate and violence against you.

That’s just the way the universe works.

Enter Jesus.

He changed how this law works.  As Paul said to the Christians in Rome: ” the wages of sin are death.”  Every time we sin we deserve to be punished.  We deserve to suffer the eternal consequences.  God knows this.  But God also knows the depths of his love for us.  So he found another way to satisfy the laws of physics and the laws of love.

That’s grace.

But grace comes at a price.    Even God must follow the rules he created for the universe.  And because of this it cost Jesus’ his life.  Someone had to pay the price for our guilt.

I’ve spent this week talking about “what evidence do you need to believe?” and the “illusions of the world.”  We saw that expecting purely scientific evidence for God’s existence would leave you unsatisfied.  And if you simply relied on your eyes, you would fall for a pack of lies (Photoshop and computer graphics do amazing things these days!)  As much as we want to rely on science it misses one of the major pieces of reality – grace. 

God didn’t have to pay this price  He could have left it to us.  But we never would have survived.  We never would have been able to overcome the laws of physics.  We would have been crushed by our guilt.  So instead of being scientific or evidenced based, he chose to act in love.  But as Philip Yancey says, “Grace costs nothing for the recipients but everything for the giver” (What’s so Amazing about Grace).  Science doesn’t make that decision.  Evolution doesn’t sacrifice itself.  Reason doesn’t choose to die for love.

The laws of physics may be in place in the universe, but I am grateful God works on a system that isn’t solely based on science and evidence.