My oldest son, Tanner, and I are studying with a fellow believer and professional actor (Bruce Kuhn) to prepare an entire gospel (in our case, the Gospel of Mark), and present it by memory as though we were there when the events took place. It is amazing how beginning the process of internalizing the stories brings it to life. It also is great fun, as a dad, to see Tanner (who is 14 years old) really dig into the Word.
Yesterday, as he was reading the Passion (Mark 14-16), he was troubled by Mark 14:27, where it says this:
On the way, Jesus told them, “All of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say, ‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’
What he noticed that he had never considered before was that it said “God will strike the Shepherd.” By overlaying his judgment of what is good on the thought of God always doing good, he couldn’t comprehend how God could be the one striking Jesus or intending for the sheep to be scattered. And this opened up for both of us a great discussion on some deep theology of how God works, our difficulties in judging good and evil, and how we must allow God to be God – the ultimate judge of truth, good, and evil – and sometimes trust in spite of our judgments.
Jesus, God, laid down his life for us. God took his own life so that we may live. The Cross is not the action of Satan, even though Satan thought he was taking authority over God. No, this was God, all the way, doing whatever it takes to restore relationship with His creation. By laying down his own life, Jesus, the God-man, presents to us a gift by which we can once again live in the Father’s great love. It is this revelation, that God gave Himself up for us, that truly demonstrates the unfathomable depths of His love. The fact that He is God – all powerful and infinite – makes this even more incredible.
As we begin to recognize that anything God does is truly good and loving, no matter how it looks to us, we can begin to live more freely and full of faith, trusting that whatever circumstances come our way will lead us to a deeper relationship with God if we accept His gifts of love.