Post by Mike Miller on Sept 11, 2008 9:35:04 GMT -5
Most human analogies to God are weak, but allow me to use one anyway. What if I were to subject my precious son to a lifetime of horrid living conditions, abuse, torture, and a very cruel death? But what if I did so knowing that he would be ok in the end--that he would be fully alive and with me? Would anyone say that I didn't give something up by subjecting my son to all that? Or that he didn't suffer?
Jesus is the eternal God, but He left His Father and became an embryo, then a little baby, and so on. He lived life on earth (a place corrupted by sin, unlike His previous home) as a human being--and not as royalty. He was working class. Then He was mistreated and eventually murdered. Not only that, but on the cross, He actually bore the wrath of God for all of the sins of all of God's people. That kind of anguish is something we really can't get our minds around. Of course, Hebrews 12:2 tells us that He endured the cross by focusing on the "joy that was set before Him," but surely that doesn't minimize His horrible suffering.
Now, imagine that I gave up my son as mentioned above all for the purpose of saving my enemies--people who hate me and hate my son. I do it for them because I love them so deeply. I love them so deeply that I freely give my child into their hands. Would that be sacrifice? Would that be a love too astounding to grasp? I suggest that it would
And that is what God did. Romans 5 says that we were God's enemies, and that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. God would have been justified to have sent us all to hell. That's what we deserve. But He loved us so deeply that He gave His precious child to suffer in our place. That is love, and that is sacrifice.