Summary: A sermon for Good Friday.
“What Are We Going to Do With All This Love?”
Last week’s chemical weapons attack in Syria is one of the latest reminders that human beings are capable of doing unspeakable evil to one another.
One doctor who rushed to the hospital estimated there were 500 wounded people when he got there.
They covered the floors of the entire hospital, from the patients' rooms to the operating rooms and the corridors.
The doctor said whole families were killed.
They died of asphyxiation; foam covered their mouths.
Many died suddenly.
He said, "I believe this horrible memory will stay with me for the rest of my life."
Many people have watched YOUTUBE videos of the after-math—the effects of the attacks on people.
I have read descriptions.
I can’t bring myself to look at videos of it.
There are some things that happen in this world that are too horrible.
On Monday of this week a gunman opened fire inside his estranged wife’s elementary school classroom in San Bernardino, California, killing her and one of her young students—just 8 years old—before turning the gun on himself.
What would it be like to be the mother or father of that child…or sister, brother?
A few days ago, one of YOU and I were having a conversation when one of YOU said the following: “I think one of the worst things in this world is human trafficking.
How, as a parent, could you live knowing that your daughter has been snatched away and is going through what she must be going through?”
I can’t imagine.
But, then, I can’t imagine a lot of things.
For instance, for most of my life I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to live my life without my father.
But he died this past August, and I—of all people was the first person to come upon his lifeless body.
As a parent, I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a child who is hooked on drugs or suffering from some horrible disease, but so many other people do know—all too well—what this is like.
And as a human being, I can’t imagine what it was like for God some 2,000 years ago, when His Son was nailed to a Cross.
It might be easy for some of us to dismiss what God must have experienced—I mean, He is GOD after-all!!!
But I think we would be doing a great dis-service to our faith and to our Lord if we were to think that the death of Jesus Christ only affected the human nature of the Trinity.
Now, what do I mean by this statement?
According to our faith, there is a union between the divine and human natures in Jesus Christ that can’t be separated.
For instance, we can’t say that it was just the human Jesus Who suffered while His divine nature was somehow just standing off to the side—unaffected by what was going on.
Because of the loving Trinitarian relationship between God the Father and God the Son—it was God in Christ Who experienced the horrible suffering, humiliation and rejection on the Cross.
Both God the Father and God the Son suffered for our sake—for the sake of all of humanity.
God the Father suffered by experiencing the loss of a Son, while Jesus suffered the physical pain and torment of the Crucifixion.
And this is the essence of God’s love for the world, that God, through and in Jesus Christ, feels and shares in our suffering.
As theologians will say: “The Cross of Christ reveals the suffering of God, and God is revealed to us in Christ on the Cross.”
It’s been said that a God Who cannot suffer is a God Who cannot love.
And it makes sense.
God is Love.
And Love—by its nature, can’t just stand idly by, feeling nothing, in the face of evil.
As a matter of fact, because God is Perfect Love—God’s experience of suffering due to the experience of others must be so much more pronounced than anything we can even imagine.
Can you imagine how it must have hurt God when those He created turned on Him and rebelled?
Can you imagine how it must hurt God when you and I continue to turn our backs on God’s love and fail to love our neighbors?
God suffers when we suffer.
And God has suffered the ultimate penalty in order to win our love and set us on the right course.
Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends…You are my friends.”
Crucifixion is an absolutely terrifying death.
It was said that if a person knew that there was a chance they were going to be crucified, it was better to commit suicide.