Okay, I know it seems like an obvious one, but I know that I sometimes overlook the simplest things or take my foreknowledge of them for granted. This Easter I was able to revel in Jesus’ love for all people- a love that is worth writing a million and one blog posts on. However, for this post I am going to focus on God’s role in the sacrifice- a concept I’ve neglected to realize for too long.
Today during church during one of the songs there was a phrase which I can’t remember exactly, but it said something about God turning His face away when Jesus was on the cross and dying. During the service I was sitting next to my dad and I caught a glimpse of his face when that line was sung- and it’s possible I imagined it, but I thought I could see a painful twinge in his eyes in relating it to how he is a father. I know that if my brother or I were in any kind of trouble my dad would do everything in his power to help us because of how much he loves us. I also thought of the movie Taken with Liam Neeson and how his daughter is kidnapped and sold into slavery and he does all he can to find her and save her. How much more would the perfect Father want to do that with His son?
It was then that I connected God not as some far away being who we have nothing in common with, but as someone who we were made in the image of- someone who fathers in this world can look to as a role model because God is the perfect Father. It wasn’t easy for God to let Jesus suffer the most excruciating way to die. Do you know how much more meaning that adds to Jesus’ sacrifice? The only way I can even begin to fathom it is putting myself in Jesus’ spot and having my dad be in God’s spot (I promise this isn’t going to go anywhere strange or cultish!). My dad would be in extreme anguish at the thought of me or my brother dying- and I am sure that any one of your parents or parent figures would be the same way. Jesus is God’s very own Son- His Son who He taught, listened to, talked with, loved, cared for, provided for, etc. when Jesus was growing up. I’ll say it again, it wasn’t easy for God to let His Son be tortured, ridiculed, mocked, and hung on a cross. But He went through it anyway because He knew that it was the way to an intimate relationship with us. Yes Jesus went of His own free will to the cross because of His love for us, but God prepared for Jesus to do that because He wanted us to be saved and to be with Him- He wants us to be saved and to be with Him. And because the Father of all things and His precious Son desperately want an intimate relationship with us, they did a most painful thing to make that relationship possible!