I really enjoyed Salvageable’s post called, “Jesus Christ, Identity Thief,” based on a sermon he recently heard. Nothing delights me more than people pondering faith outside of the box. This is a particularly good one, so I’d like to play off of the idea a bit.
First off, if you believe everything belongs to Jesus Christ anyway, perceiving him as a thief takes on different, more positive, connotation. He is not forcibly stealing anything that does not already belong to Him. Everything is His. Everything. He does also refer to His own self as a coming like a thief in the night, so we are speaking of a much-loved, much desired, and eagerly anticipated thief.
He has also robbed us of sin and death on the cross, robbed the enemy of his victory. Snatching victory out of the jaws of defeat like a thief in the night.
I like this idea very much because even though we frown upon thievery, we also loudly proclaim its virtue in our romance as in, stolen moments together. Stolen hearts. Stolen away. Rob me of my resistance, or whatever other sappy, romantic thievery analogies you wish to pursue, the point being, thievery and love tend to go hand in hand. In the language of love, thievery becomes virtue. God is love, so God as a thief of our hearts makes a great deal of sense.
“Stolen” has a lot of synonyms, “to appropriate” is one. Yes, Jesus Christ has appropriated my heart, my life, my being, my very identity. Appropriate, indeed.
Stolen also means to gain, to move, to win. In baseball when one steals a base, they are not actually picking up the base and running off the field with it. Stealing bases is a good thing. It actually means to advance, to progress, and to win.
Jesus Christ as identity thief is quite charming, too. We are busy dying to self so to speak, being conformed into His image. So He has stolen what is flawed and replaced it with something much better. I sometimes like to say the Great Potter molds you into the best version of yourself you can possibly be, changing your very identity.
The world too, tends to create so many negative labels and stereotypes so our worldly identity can be quite false, based on unpleasant words people have spoken over you, or credit scores, or other strange human perceptions of worth and value. Our identity in Jesus Christ is as the sons and daughters of a Most High God, having been created in our Father’s image, having such a worth and value in His eyes, He laid down His very life for us. A royal priesthood, people who will judge the angels someday.
So a hat tip to those who can think of faith outside the box, who can hand us fresh eyes to see things in new ways. Jesus Christ as much beloved identity thief, indeed.