Updated: Oct 12, 2019
Edward Teller was known as the “father of the hydrogen bomb,” a label he later came to hate. Before one of the first tests of the bomb he fathered, in which he and others were about 20 miles away from ground zero, he was concerned about the effect of the blast. Thus, he told others that in order to help protect themselves, they need to apply a bit of sunscreen on their skins.
Sunscreen? To protect against an atomic blast?
Kind of a metaphor, perhaps, for all human attempts to atone for their own sins. To try and earn their salvation? To try and make themselves right with God?
Look, we know the texts:
As it is written:
“There is none righteous, no, not one;
There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”
“Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;
“The poison of asps is under their lips . . . (Romans 3:10-13).
And on and on . . . right?
In the end, we can get an idea of how bad we are by what it took to save us... the death of Jesus, the Creator (John 1:1-3), on the cross.
If, indeed, anything else could have done it, could have sufficed, surely the Lord would have done that instead of the sacrifice of Jesus. That amazing act of self-sacrifice, and that alone, should show us just how badly fallen we are, just how bad the sin problem is, and just how foolish it would be for us to try and solve it ourselves.
Kind of like using sunscreen to protect against an atomic blast, perhaps, but only more fruitless.