Monday, December 17, 2012

Part I: The Cape Town Commitment: For the Lord we love...#3

"We love God as the Father who so loved the world that he gave his only Son for our salvation."

As the nation mourns the death of so many sweet little children, I cannot help but compare the grief of their parents with that of the ultimate parent, God the Father.  Any emotion we experience as creatures created by God reflects the emotion of our Creator.  We know that he is able to experience grief as he says so in his word.  Knowing then, that as he sent his only Son into our broken, sin-sick world, he knew full well that the Baby born in Bethlehem was born to die at the hands of wicked men to pay a price that wasn't his to pay, we gain a glimpse of the heart of our Father.  It was the will of the Trinity for the second Person to take on flesh and die for render null and void the power of sin through the payment of the penalty for disobedience...death.

Was the Father unmoved as he watched his Son die on the cross?  Surely not.  I do believe that he was as grieved as those who have had to do the say goodbye to their sons and daughters.  I have heard it said so many times.  No parent ought ever to bury their child.  But our heavenly Father had to do just that.

However, Hebrews 12 tells us that our Lord Jesus - the Baby whose birth we celebrate this Christmastide - endured the cross and despised the shame of being executed as a criminal for a crime he did not commit, because he could see the joy that was set before him...the joy of the resurrection and his ascension to the very throne he had chosen to leave behind to take on the form of one of his creatures so that as a man - a sinless man - he could die as a man for man.

Joy.  Such a bittersweet word to be heard during a time of great grief.  And yet, what a comforting word to hear from the lips of the Father.  In the midst of immeasurable pain, we have one who understands out grief as no one else, because he has been there.  But beyond the grief there is joy.  The knowledge that there is a resurrection for those who are in Christ Jesus..that there is a life beyond the grave where grief is no longer a reality.

I pray that I may never be able to identify with the pain of the parents in Connecticut.  But I know that the one who loved the world so much that he gave his only Son for our salvation understands and that he grieves with those who grieve and mourns with those who mourns.   

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