Selecting the title above leads me two different directions. Both stem from the meaning of the word. Taken as a noun, rejects are those who have been cast off, the outsiders, or the factory seconds that could not be sold for retail. Taken as a verb, we reject those that are different, unwanted, unloved. Both involve a casting off or casting away.
“The one who rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” Why do you suppose that is? I am reminded of the story of the young man who asked for a new car upon his graduation. His father called him into his study and offered him a Bible. The boy rejected the offer and cast the Bible aside, storming out, so angry that he did not speak to or see his father until his father’s funeral many years later. Rummaging through his father’s things afterwards, he found that old Bible, still sitting in the study. Curious, he opened it. Inside he found a set of car keys.
Like that man, we see the outward appearance of faith and religion, remembered the many hypocrites we have come across, the fake preachers and false teachers. We recall the many times we have been hurt by churches, fellow Christians, and even those who were supposed to be trustworthy. We reject the appearance, and thus refuse the gift. For the man, it was a Bible, an effort by his father to teach him what was truly important in life. When he rejected the Bible, he rejected the gift that was inside.
When we see the crucified Christ, the shame of our sin painted over Him in blood, we reject Him, because we cannot acknowledge the seriousness and impact of our own sins, refuse to believe that we could be so bad as to crucify the Son of God. We reject the horror of the offering, and miss the gift that lay beyond. For when we acknowledge that indeed Christ suffered for the sins of the world, for our own sins, for my sins, and when we accept that needful sacrifice for our own sake, we are witness to the resurrected Christ, the Lord of all, the Son of God who takes us as His own. Then we receive the gift we have truly desired: life. For in the end, when all else has been said, what is the one thing everyone wishes they had? But more time. This life isn’t for a day or an hour, but for eternity, all the time you could ever want.
Don’t reject the gift because you don’t like how it looks. The guilt and conviction you feel come from the nature of the gift. When you are offered something so pure, so holy as this, your natural man reacts involuntarily. You are horrified that something so pure could exist, because you are used to impurity. But Jesus offers His purity to you, in exchange for your filthiness, the nastiness of the corruption of sin in your life.
Will you accept Jesus, or reject Him. The Choice belongs to you.
Dear Jesus, please accept me, broken and corrupted as I am, for there is nothing in me that can possibly earn this gift. I am not pure. I am not holy. I am what remains of that divine image laid upon me, led astray by temptation and sin. Please accept me in return for my faith, devotion and commitment to follow you. Do not let me forget all that I have promised, and may Your work in me prove fruitful, that I may share this amazing transformation with others. Thank You Jesus. In Your Name, Amen.