There has been much speculation of why God the Father would send His beloved Son to the Cross? Was it some sadist method to appease an angry Father? How would God who is known to be loving be so cruel to His own Son who happened to be sinless in every regard? Shouldn’t it have pleased the Father to reward the Son instead of hurt Him and humiliate Him completely?
These questions have resurfaced because of a book I was required to read in my Masters class called Recovering the Scandal of the Cross by Baker and Green. While reading this book, I was reminded of a friend who saw the Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson. A few young adults witnessed the movie without any prior knowledge of the message of Christ. When they left the the theatre, they all said out loud, “I do not get it. Why would anyone believe in a God who died like that?”
Those of us who are aware of the verse in 1 Corinthians 1: 8 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,but to us who are being saved it is the power of God ,” we ask, “how was God’s power performed at the Cross?”
Haven’t you wondered at times why the Lord impressed upon your heart to act in a manner that caused such horrible results? Many times in my walk with Christ, I knew I needed to be obedient to the Scriptures and the strong conviction that came as a result of reading and laboring in prayer. But why were the results so devastating? In the immediate, I could not see the fruit at all and the questions and confusion seemed to escalate in my mind. It was as if the conviction of my heart was not strong enough to overpower the confusion in my mind when examining the results.
Well, after spending days of listening to the passages of the Gospel writers, Paul, Peter, the verses in Revelation and then of course Hebrews….it became more and more clear. God sent His Son in to the world to save us. Jesus Christ’s obedience to the Father sent Him to the Cross. Satan must not have believed that Jesus Christ would actually be completely obedient to endure the crucifixion on the Cross. Jesus was so aware of His fate that He was pushed to the point of praying in the garden “Not My will but Yours be done.” God approved of the cross, not to hurt Jesus Christ but to then save us! Everyone else before Christ died as a sinner. Only Jesus Christ lived and then died a perfect life. It was in the perfection that flowed in His blood from His Father and His perfection to live a life in complete obedience to His Father that won the victory for us all who believe to live through His sacrifice with Him forever.
Personally, I have been struggling with this very thing. Why did my obedience lead me to this place? This place seems so dark and lonely. It brings confusion and anger. At times I am hurt beyond words and ask the same question, “Why have You forsaken me?”
Praise be to God. In Christ… if there is a death, there is a resurrection. Resurrection is Power! The issue comes down to defining that resurrection according to God’s ways and not ours. Jesus Christ’s resurrection did not bring about the results the disciples expected…no, His results were far greater because the fruit lasts for eternity.
If you are struggling right now, lift up your eyes and stay focused on the Lord. He knows your hearts desire and He knows what’s best. He can be trusted and believe me, a fellow sufferer of Christ, nothing else is worth it. Only following Him and obeying Him will bring about eternal results, life, love, peace, liberty and even power. Hang on…this life isn’t that long and this too shall pass!