14 May 2017

The Love of the Father and the Son

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This post will probably only matter to Christians, just to warn you… I am relaying a train of thought that occurred to me a few days which you may find of interest.

I could imagine letting someone attack me even when I’m completely not at fault. For example, suppose I’m walking down the street at night, and I notice a car parked on the street has its windows all smashed in. I walk over to make sure there’s not somebody who needs help, and just then somebody yells, “HEY!!” A teenager runs out of the nearby house and starts swearing at me for messing with his car.

I try to explain it wasn’t me, but he is so furious that he just starts swinging at me. In that type of scenario, I would like to think that I would take measures to protect myself, but that I wouldn’t hurt the kid.

More generally, I could imagine circumstances where I would deliberate beforehand and walk into a situation, knowing that I was going to allow people to beat the @$( out of me. (It’s not my style to be confrontational rhetorically so it doesn’t really make sense, but if for some reason I thought a student group was going to try to shut down one of my talks, I absolutely would not want to ever strike back in anger even if students were attacking me physically.)

Now to be clear, I’m not telling you guys that I’m certain I *would* behave in this way. I’m just explaining that intellectually I would *want* to, and I hope I’d have the courage to do so if thrust into such a scenario.

In total contrast, if I’m walking down the street with my son, and we investigate a car with smashed up windows, and then a teenager runs out, there is no way he’s touching my son. I’m going to try to defuse the situation, but it is absolutely not going to happen that I am going to let my son do the very thing (i.e. absorb a beating from the confused teenager) that I personally would do.

Now take it one step further. This is a totally implausible thing but hypothetically speaking, suppose somehow my son and I found ourselves in a situation where we were both convinced that the right thing to do would be for him to take a beating from somebody that was completely unjustified, and I wasn’t going to intervene even though I could easily do so. When that scene unfolded, I would have to turn away and not look. There’s no way I could look at it.

* * *

Now think about the relevance of what I’ve written to these passages:

John 3:16 New International Version (NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


Matthew 27:46 New International Version (NIV)

46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)

So as much as we are in awe at the sacrifice Jesus made for us, I think you could argue that what God the Father did was even more stupefying.

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