Would you walk into a house if you knew that God was waiting behind the door? That’s kind of a strange question, but it is one that the reader must consider in chapters five and six of The Shack. There are plenty of “what ifs” that the book presents to the reader. The topics are fantastic and completely out of this world. They do not seem out of place because the most everyone who has read the book has come to face inner pain. The Shack calls this inner pain the Great Sadness. Whatever you call it there is only one place to put inner pain. That place is on the exhausted shoulders of Jesus as he hangs on the cross.
That might seem like a strange thing to do to someone who never deserved to be in that position, but that was God’s plan from the beginning. The truth that Jesus took our pain, shame, and sin on himself – the truth that Jesus was separated forever from God as he hung on the cross – the truth that Jesus is true God and that he is not the Father or the Spirit: these truths completely change our future.
Before I touch on what these truths mean for us, it is important to note that The Shack doesn’t attempt to finely slice the theological truths found in Scripture. The one point of the book is the singular treatment of inner pain in the world. I think it does a good job of addressing that point. The parts that it may be lacking give us a opportunity to see what our God says on a topic.
These truths in Scripture mean that we no longer need to carry our guilt – Jesus paid for our sin. We will never no what it’s like to be separated from God in hell – Jesus took our punishment. We never have to wonder if Jesus did enough – Jesus’ death, God died on the cross, covers over the sins of the whole world!
What to hear more? Watch this Sunday’s Bible study on chapters 5-6 of The Shack.
Please click HERE for the Bible class slides.