The word “revelation” means to discover something new, something striking or arresting. Today I had a revelation.
During these weeks leading up to Easter, my thoughts have been riveted on the magnitude of Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary, the single purpose of which was to help those of us who would be doomed without him, which is everyone.
Yesterday I blogged about my worst fear, that of seeing my children suffer without being able to help. Mel Gibson’s movie, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, depicts Christ’s last torturous hours, including the responses of his closest friends and relatives. His mother’s horror at having to witness the extreme abuse of her son, the one she bore and raised, was an emotion I completely understood, and I wept with her, during the movie.
Today God revealed another facet of those hours of severe torment, a revelation to me of his deepest heart. He, too, experienced the same terrible circumstance I wrote on my 3×5 card during my Bible study. He watched his own Son undergo horrendous torture without being able to help him. The one thing I fear most, he did.
Of course God could have helped Jesus. It was within his power to abort the crucifixion at any point during those awful 12 hours. As Jesus said to Pilate, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.” (John 19:11) But by withholding that power, by allowing the abuse, the beatings, the torture and the murder of his Son, God facilitated Jesus being able to open heaven to anyone who believes in him.
But how could God have possibly stayed his hand? How could he have watched it happen without stepping in to severely punish the ones hurting his guiltless Son? What possible gain could have outweighed such massive loss?
The fact that our names might appear anywhere in the answers to those questions is absurd. And yet they do. Despite the fact that we are corrupt, selfish, prideful, riddled with filthy sin, he loves us. He wants us. He could destroy us all and begin again with a pure people, unspotted by disobedience and disregard for him.
And yet, he wants… us. And that’s the reason he watched his Son suffer without stepping in, without stopping it when he could have.
The most famous verse in the Bible has a word in it most people gloss over. In John 3:16, Jesus is speaking and describes himself as “the only begotten Son” of God the Father, not just the “only” one but the only “begotten” one. That word “begotten” means “born of a father.”
Jesus was the born Son of God his Father, just as my seven children were born to me. God the Father chose to suffer through watching his Son lay down his life without stopping it, for my sake…and yours.
…an awesome revelation to me today.
“[Jesus said,] ‘For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative’.” (John 10:17,18)