(Photo: Dan Delzell)
Let me see if I have this right. You Christians believe that the Son of God suffered and died on a cross 2000 years ago...and that somehow, this helps you get connected to your God. Yep. That's right. That is the teaching of the Bible. And yes....it is utter foolishness to the natural way of thinking about God. And by the way....He is not just our God....He is the true God, the One and only.
Without Good Friday, there is no Christianity. Jesus did not come to earth to bring a new or better set of moral standards. We already had the 10 Commandments. Jesus came to give us something we lacked...and desperately needed. He came to bring us back to the Father. We had lost our way. We had lost our innocence. We needed a Savior, and not just another teacher.
What does Jesus suffering the agony of crucifixion have to do with man getting into a relationship with God? It has everything to do with it. His death was the payment for sin that God requires. God is perfect. He cannot just overlook sin and remain perfect. He had two options. Punish the sinner, or pay for the sin Himself. He chose the latter. "He saw that there was no one. He was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for Him." (Isaiah 59:16)
But that is ridiculous. Why did sin have to be paid for anyway? And who says that sin is such a bad thing? If God is so perfect, couldn't He have just turned and looked away? Actually, He did. When His Son was suffering intensely on the cross, the Father looked the other way. In that moment, the Son felt forsaken. Could you have watched that happening to your child?
Like it or not, the Father sent His Son to take your place. It would be unbelievable to be told that an earthly king sent his son to die for you and me. When it involves the Creator of the world, it is utter foolishness. It makes no sense to our natural understanding. "The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:18)
There is no getting around Good Friday. It blazes like the brightest star in the universe. You can reject it outright and live your life as though it doesn't apply to you. Or you can accept the foolish message of Good Friday and believe that God loved you enough to suffer and die for your sins. It's an all or nothing proposition. No one is "halfway" connected to God.
Once a person meets God through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, he begins to spout foolish things to others. He speaks about the importance of the blood of Jesus. He talks about heaven and hell as though they are real places. He indicates that he actually has a relationship with God and that he even speaks to Him. Crazy stuff, this Christianity.
No wonder so many people just choose to turn and walk away. The message of Good Friday goes against man's sensibilities. It even injures his pride and his confidence in his good behavior. Rather than come to terms with his own sinfulness, man is content to keep doing what makes sense to him and what feels good.
If only God were like man. Maybe He would have come up with a plan of salvation that made sense to us. Just think how much we could have helped God promote His Gospel if only He had given us something to work with and a message that resonates with human reason. As it is, He has left us in a real predicament.
Doesn't He care that people think we're crazy for believing that God died on a cross for sinners? He should come down here and try walking in our shoes for awhile. Then He will find out firsthand just how fiercely some people oppose this foolish message. Hmm. On second thought, I guess He has already been there, done that.