Summary: God surely must have suffered tremendously during the time of Christ’s Crucifixion, but His suffering did not end at Calvary. The sins we commit here and now bring pain to Jesus here and now.
MY SON DIED FOR YOU?
Tony Compolo, in his book entitled Who Switched the Price Tags tells the story of a West Point graduate that was sent to Vietnam. This man was in charge of a group of new recruits and they were sent into the combat zone.
This young lieutenant did his job well and tried his best to keep his men safe...to keep them from booby traps and ambushes. And for a while things went fairly smooth.
But one night they were surprised by a whole battalion of Viet Cong. All the men but one was able to get to cover and fight from a safer position. The one soldier that was left behind was severely wounded in a vicious cross fire.
They wanted desperately to reach him and get him medical attention but leaving cover meant being caught right in the middle of the enemy cross fire. From behind the safety of their position they could hear the agonizing cries of their wounded comrade.
After what seemed like an eternity the young officer could stand the cries no more and went out into the deadly area. He reached his wounded man and managed to drag him back toward safety. But just as he pushed the wounded man into the trench, the lieutenant was fired upon, hit, and killed instantly.
Some months later the rescued soldier returned to the states. Somehow the parents of the dead officer learned that this man was in their area, so they invited him over for dinner. They wanted to get to know this man whose life was spared at such a great cost to them.
On the night of the dinner, their guest arrived...drunk! He was loud and rowdy and obnoxious. He continually told off-color jokes, was rude, and showed absolutely no concern for his suffering hosts.
But the parents of this dead hero were also brave, and they did the best they could to salvage the evening...to make it worthwhile. But their best efforts went completely unrewarded.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the visit ended, and the obscene guest left. As her husband closed the door, the mother collapsed in tears and cried, "To think that our son died for somebody like that."
But before we go too far in our criticism of that ungrateful soldier... shouldn’t we consider how much like him most of us are? Jesus died for each one of us, and yet we continue to sin. Jesus paid a terrible price to give us eternal life...and yet we continue to behave in ways that mirror that of the ungrateful soldier.
We owe Him something better, but we fail to deliver what we should. We fail to reflect on the cost that was paid so that we might have salvation. If we did ...our lives would be radically different.
Now, we may at times look at the suffering of Christ, but do we stop to think of the suffering of God as He watched His Son endure all the ridicule, and abuse, and such a horrible death?
God surely must have suffered tremendously during that time, but His suffering did not end at Calvary. The sins we commit here and now bring pain to Jesus here and now.
But in a similar way, I wonder if God might be watching us this day and asking the same question those heartbroken parents asked, "My son died for you?"
So what shall we say in response to this? Vs. 31-32 says, "If God is for us... In his own way, I think Paul is restating what Jesus spoke to His disciples in Luke 12. In vs. 22-23...then look at vs. 31...
This is what God wants for us...what He has promised us...what He has provided for us in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He wants to give us all the things we actually need in life.
He wants to give us not only the physical and material things, but He also wants to meet our emotional needs, our relational needs, and of course, our spiritual needs. Yet in so many areas many of us are lacking?
So what’s the problem? At what point do we break down? What causes us to seek out other sources for our security and for our pleasure? Why is it that we turn our backs...and our hearts...and our souls from our Heavenly Father?
Each one of us has been invited to the meal, and yet so many of us show up in the same condition as that ungrateful soldier. Maybe we aren’t physically drunk...but we come drunk in our own pride...telling God obscene stories of our own self-sufficiency.
Telling God, and trying to convince ourselves that we can make it on our own. God is for the old or the weak, or those who need a crutch. But I can make it on my own...I’ve gotten along alright so far and I can surely continue on doing so.