11.02.2010 @ 9:12:00 PM
No Substitution like a Substitution
My younger brother Tj, when he was about five, asked Dad to buy him one of those robodogs he saw on TV. Tj had asthma (he's fine now, but/) so we weren't really supposed to keep any kind of furry pet, which is pretty boring growing up. And since the cold metal robodog technically isn't a ball of allergy (plus, he cried like a perpetual baby), Dad got him one.
It wasn't really as cool as the one he saw on TV. That one's really cool, it can bark and play fetch and
dig holes for you (I think), but ours... well, it barked forever and jerked a little. But Tj was so happy he finally got a pet to watch over and love. And everytime it barks in a special way, he'd hold it in his heart and feel the metal springs close to his asthmatic chest and know that certain kind of happiness only a robotic dog could give him.
Okay, so maybe I overacted, but he did think it was the coolest thing ever. Until he got older and got brand new toys, he forgot all about robodog. So one day, it crashed and we dumped it somewhere and couldn't find it anymore when we moved houses away.
And the robodog was such a perfect substitute pet for a kid like my brother. But it was cold, and it couldn't obey and love back a master as Tj because inside it were made of metal too. It could give him happiness, but only for a short while, until he gets tired of it and when cool new Megaman things come around. That dog couldn't replace a real man's best friend.
I guess in some ways, people will always look for that special something to make them happy. Sometimes they end up digging for other things: an indoor swimming pool, a room full of squirrels, Owen Wilson... To make them feel all gushy loved and accepted inside. And because none of these things can truly give them that happiness, they end up miserable fetus inside a bitter box.
But see, there's no substitution for the substitution Jesus did on that cross when you and I are supposed to be up there facing all the painful things he put up with for you and me. He became sin when not a hint of sin could be xray found in his bones (2 Corinthians 5:21). But he did that because he hopes you could experience that everlasting and true joy, acceptance, and love that can only be found in him.
1 John 4:10: This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
You can't find a substitute for a Substitute as awesome as that.
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