When God doesn’t make sense…
The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
There was a written notice above him, which read: This is the King of the Jews.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
– Luke 23:35-37
What were Jesus’s followers thinking when he died?
I thought he was God. I thought he was the Messiah. Why is he now dead? It’s true: I have seen his miracles – he has resurrected others from the dead! Now he himself is dead and buried in a tomb. Was he not powerful enough to save himself? Was he not God, after all? Have I given my life to a lie, or a trick?
I don’t understand how God could die.
A lot of things have happened that I am not able to reconcile with what I know of God’s character. I understand these questions. I understand that sometimes, or maybe a lot of the time, God doesn’t make sense.
Some people say that faith gives us answers.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Faith is not seeing. Faith is not understanding. Faith is having none of the answers, but still believing that God is who the Bible says he is.
Faith is what the other criminal crucified with Jesus had, when, even though God was dying, he decided to trust him:
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
– Luke 23:39-41
This is the faith that allows me to shout today, “HE IS RISEN!”
He is risen indeed.