A bit hot under the collar, folks, so hope I don’t ruffle.
Here’s a question I’ve been asked recently. The first time it was from a woman who’d joined our writing group for a time. She had very strong opinions about things and was eager to share them. She said,
‘Oh, and about Christians. What’s with your God anyway? Why would you be interested in a God who sacrifices his own son?’
I admit at that moment I was shocked. I’d never heard of such a question, delivered with such derision towards my God before. I said something lame, like, ‘Wow.’
I figured it was just that woman’s point of view and the writing group wasn’t the place for a heavy discussion/argument, and I let it go.
So the other night I’m at the grocery store, in line. There’s this man who says he’s battling cancer, but its okay, he believes in God. I smiled, I believe too. He goes on and says he’s not swayed by people (Christians) who try to tell him how he should believe in God. He loves God, he says, more than most Christians love Jesus. And he delivers that question, again. ‘I mean, why would God sacrifice his own son?’
I go blank, my friends. My mind becomes this huge computer sifting out files. The answer to that question is just so BIG.
‘Well, let’s see,’ I could say. ‘Let’s just go back over the entire history of mankind, and use for a reference the entire book of the Bible.’
To ask a Christian that question is like saying in a sneering voice to a fish, ‘what in the world do you want to swim around in so much water for?’
‘Well, glub glub, you’ll just have to take my word for it. There’s a reason, and it’s a good one.’
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
We don’t understand why God does what he does. There isn’t a shop down the street called, ‘Design-A-God’. We don’t get to decide who we think God is, according to how it seems He ought to be when we bother to think of it.
Number one message of the Bible is when God says: I AM.
He exists as more than just energy binding the universe and giving out jedi powers. He has personality. He has thoughts which are higher than ours. In short, He’s not a tame lion. If we want to follow God, we must accept Him as He is and try to understand what He’s doing.
Fortunately for us, He’s good.
The question isn’t, ‘why would God sacrifice His Son?’
The real question is, ‘why would Jesus be willing to be sacrificed?’
When God Almighty separates a part of Himself out, and sends Him down as a helpless baby, and loves that child with abandon and calls that child, Logos, His message, and that child grows and loves humans face to face, and then- all the time knowing what’s coming- decides to die for us anyway, there’s only one thing that could possibly be driving Him. Love.
When God loves us enough to do all of that, you shouldn’t sneer. And you shouldn’t traumatize a Christian into silence with such a question- as if none of it mattered at all.
Why was it necessary? That’s a question for another time. I only know that when a hero gives His life you should be appreciative. When someone gives you a gift, you should receive it with gratitude.