Sunday, January 2, 2011

And God Died

The words 'God' and 'died' don't seem like they should go together if you really think about it. I mean, by definition, God is all powerful, all knowing, eternal. He is the Unchangeable can He die? How could someone get one up on Him and stab Him in the back? How could the Life from which all of the universe has sprung be ended?

One of my favorite verses of Scripture is in the Gospel of John, chapter 19. Pilate is questioning Jesus but the Savior does not give him an answer. No doubt frustrated and definitely nervous, Pilate asks, '"You will not speak to me? Do You know know that I have authority to release You and authority to crucify You?" Jesus answered him, "You would have no authority over Me at all unless it had been given you from above."' John 19: 10-11

I love the image of that. To any unenlightened eye, these are the insolent words of a foolish carpenter, so poor He doesn't even have a roof over His head, standing before the man who had all the authority of the Roman empire backing him. For anyone else, it would have been rash, foolish, and stupid, but for the Son of was the truth.

That is where we find the answer to how God could die. God chose to do so. He knew from the beginning of time and beyond that He would create, that His creation would rebel, and that He would become like His creation so that He could save a people out of them for Himself. A simple concept that changes everything about us and that so many people have stumbled over and rejected it.

Some people find Jesus' death offense, like cosmic murder of the Son by His Father. Others don't like the fact that the Gospel tells them that they can't save themselves. We Americans are obstinately self reliant and don't you dare tell me that I have to trust somebody else to fix my problems. Like a nation of two year olds, we proclaim that we can do 'by my self, darn it!' But the Gospel isn't supposed to be easy. Such revolutionary change on how we think and act won't come easily. But left as we are, we are dead in our sins, we are lost, and we are blind to the goodness of God. That is why God died: so that He might open the eyes of His chosen people to His salvation. Not all will be saved; the Bible is clear on that too. But in His mercy, God chose some and for these, He became flesh, He lived a hard life, He suffered, He was spit on and cursed, He died, He was buried, He rose, and now, He prepares to receive us to Himself. The impossibility of God's death made the impossibility of our salvation a reality! Praise be to the Most High Who in wisdom, justice, and love, satisfed His wrath and our need!

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