March 19, 2008

God's Pain and God's Friday

It can be difficult to relate to the idea of God experiencing or feeling pain, but the Bible is full of references to the longings, regrets, and pain of God in seeking relationship with us, his creatures.

A God who longs for us? Read Matthew 23:37, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing."

A God who regrets our shortcomings and feels pain for our insistence on running away on our own paths of frustration and failure? Read Genesis 6:5, 6: "The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth and his heart was filled with pain."

So, on God's Friday (Good Friday), God acknowledged we were (and still are) in spiritual bankruptcy without him and did something about it. Instead of extracting from us the price and penalty of our wrongdoings, God paid the price for us. "Paying the price" means God took away the barriers that made it impossible for us to perceive him or communicate with him.

He's still waiting for us to stop running away; to look to him for life, peace, and purpose. God's pain, God's Friday, our choice.

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