Grace, mercy, and peace be unto you from God our Father and
from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
This morning when we had the day school kids here and I was
preaching this, it struck me almost at the moment of being spoken that how
completely unapplicable it seemed for these kids, at least for the little ones,
because when you were little, you remember how nothing in your mind could daunt
or cause you great fear or doubt when it came to God and His ability to answer
prayer and His ability to complete what He has promised. It’s not until you began
to grow a little older that rational reason came in to play and you began to
think a little bit deeper than just the statement that Scripture gives. And in
fact, as you and I grow older, do doubts grow exponentially with each passing
year as we begin to see inconsistencies in how God acts or our way of
perceiving how God acts.
When Christ was ridiculed from the ground up to the cross
with words that mocked Him and said, “Come down if you are the Son of God,” He
was showing Himself to be exactly what they claimed Him not to be. But they,
like we, wished to place our Lord and our God in a specific box of expectation.
How will He deal with us or with that situation or with them? Because we
fervently pray, and yet God allows someone to die. We fervently pray and yet
our job still is taken from us. We seek God’s wisdom and yet it seems as if He
has turned a deaf ear to us. And these things pry upon our hearts more as we
grow older. It becomes kind of a playground of Satan, because our memory of
things in the past is clearer sometimes than our memory of what happened
yesterday. And in thinking about the things of the past, it’s interesting the
things that we cannot seem to forget; isn’t it? Oh, Lord, how I wish we could
forget those things at times. They serve no purpose but to be used by Satan and
our own flesh to flagellate and beat ourselves down.
Mocking Him and calling Him to come down to prove Himself is
the complete antithesis of what He had been doing all along prior to this
moment. And all the miracles that He performed from healing, raising the dead,
walking on water, stilling the storm, and so on and so on. Just like you in
your own life can recount all the times that God has been good and gracious so
much so that you can actually point to that and say that was God being good and
gracious when there was no reason for Him to be. And then we still wake up and
are fearful. We still wake up and are frustrated with how God has allowed
things to be. They wanted Him to come to them in their definition and in their
manner and means to prove Himself. Had He come down from that cross, He would
have proven Himself to be only the Son of God but not their Savior. For to
prove Himself to be the Savior and to be the King of all, He would have to
suffer all, the very exact opposite of what we think.
When you and I tend to think of accomplishments and abilities,
it never is looked upon as a negative. It’s always as a positive, meaning the
ability to do something. The very thing that He does is the very antithesis to
what you and I, or they, should expect it to be. And that’s why you and I say
hindsight’s 20/20; isn’t it? When we look back and see the maneuvering of God’s
hand in our life and our families’ lives and our loved ones’ lives, how He has
moved us around and shaped us and our children, and all through suffering,
which is always a part of God revealing Himself as the One who saved us from
the utmost suffering.
You see, you and I were joined to that suffering. We were
joined to the One who was crucified, and to ask Him to come down is to
completely eliminate our entire being joined to Him and His life. It negates
the fact that we will rise again with Him. It robs us of the comfort of true
forgiveness. For Him to do anything but to die and to be mocked as He is in the
text. But when He is caught between a rock and a hard place, He doesn’t bicker
and complain. He doesn’t cast stones at others in his mind’s eye, which
unfortunately is what we do. He only dies. That is worth believing. That is
your and my God who is our Savior, and it proves He is a God who does not break
His Word, which enables little kids and children to believe and which enables
His grownup kids and little children to believe.
Thanks be to God for such a God who has kept His Word in
spite of how the world paints Him, in spite of how we paint Him. In the name of
The peace of God which passes all understanding keep your
hearts and minds on Christ Jesus to life everlasting.