Sunday, April 8, 2012

One Minute Devotion: Luke 23:34

Luke 23:34

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them;  for they know not what they do.  And they divided his garments, and cast lots.

On this Easter sunday, after hearing the crucifixion and resurrection message for the past 34 years, I am still perplexed by one nagging question. Why? Why would an almighty, sovereign God allow a rebellious, ungrateful, and sinful people continue to disappoint Him time and time again? Why would God provide an out for a society deserving of the consequence of their own wickedness? Why would He allow His son not only to die for those same degenerates, but suffer in such a horrific way, that its description coined its own expression excruciating? Why would the creator of time, space, truth, and life waste his valuable time on such a flawed group of beings? Why not start over, just design something else? It seems utterly ridiculous for an absolute God with absolute power to continue with such deliberately inferior and corrupt individuals. This verse is the apex of that sentiment. Even as, Christ is sacrificing Himself in their place, for the consequences of sin they deserve, those who have witnessed the greatest acts of brutality, want to mock rather than demonstrate the slighest of compassion. At the height of the crucifixion process, insult is literally added to injury by the precise people Jesus's death was designed to deliver. During this seemingly absurd reaction, as He is weighted with pain that defies description, the son of God earned full authority to express his righteous anger, instead He cries out to His Father to forgive them. So again, I ask no I marvel, why? My answer, though not simple, is found in the exact request uttered by Christ. It is not in the wording or tone, but in the complete compassion of the request. For the mere fact, that it would even be uttered at that moment.  An omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God does so because of His love for us. A love, like Christ's suffering on the cross, that defies explanation. So we return to one word we have explored before, Grace. Grace that can only exist because of God's unconditional love. A Grace that finite minds can not understand but desperately need to accept at face value. With all that said, there is still a question that should nag us, why? Why give us such a gift of Grace?  Why is God's love so acutley focused on us?  The answer to the question of Grace is this, God's love for us glorifies Him. Think about that for a second, God's love for you, glorifies Him. Can we even comprehend that? Christ sacrifice and resurrection was designed with the anticipation of your birth and life. His love stretches beyond the confines of time and is everlasting. Christ sacrifice in His time was purposed for the struggle with sin you will encounter during yours. An escape from the punishment before you ever commit the crime. Still, on a daily basis, we reject that love and purpose.  And for what, our own pleasure, agenda, and selfishness. Why would anyone turn from such love? Maybe that is the better question with no reasonable answer. What does the death and resurrection of Christ mean to you? What does it look like in your heart? With the awareness of its cost and meaning at hand what, excuse can justify resistance? God bless.

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