JESUS IS THE CRUCIFIED GOD.
This is also what His Transfiguration
teaches us. And here, of course, is where the Son of God is not suitable for
children under age 13. Parents should be careful about exposing them to the
violent and bloody images of His arrest and subsequent beating and crucifixion.
This is why the movie, “Son of God,” is rated PG-13.
But, you know, it is not only children who
need their parents’ guidance when considering Jesus’ crucifixion. We all need
guidance, and from our heavenly Father. For, when the mighty Son of God is weak
and pushed around and rejected and finally killed, this does not seem right. When
He is weak in our lives and allows all kinds of hardships and problems to come
upon us, this also does not seem right. It seems very wrong.
Can you imagine how confusing it was for
Peter, James and John to hear Jesus command them, “Tell no one the vision, until
the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” Raised from the dead? They had
just seen Jesus shine with God’s glory; seen their greatest prophets appear and
testify to Him; heard the almighty God Himself proclaim Jesus to be His beloved
Son! How could He die? How could anything stand in His way? How could anything
but glory be before Him… and them?
God’s ways are not our ways; but they are
always good. The Son of God had to be rejected and suffer and be crucified, and
then rise again. The Gospel of Luke tells us that this, in fact, is what Moses
and Elijah were talking with Jesus about on that mountaintop. His death was the
purpose of His life. It is our greatest need. For, without blood – sacrificial
blood, blood shed on your behalf to pay for the sins of which you are guilty –
you cannot approach God or see God or be with God.
This is very clear in Exodus 24. “Moses
sent young men who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of
oxen to the Lord. He took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of
the blood he threw against the altar… Then he took the blood [from the basins] and
threw it on the people and said, ‘Behold the blood of the covenant that the
Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.’ ” Then,
wearing blood-stained garments, the leaders of the people went up to God on His
mountain, saw Him, and ate and drank with Him. They wore blood-stained garments
because no one can see God, or even be comforted and blessed by His presence, while wearing
his sins. Sin is hateful and repugnant to God. It is rebellion against Him and
the rejection of Him. God must punish and consume it. The suffering and death
it brings must be meted out upon it, upon the one who is guilty of it.
Where was the blood when Peter, James and
John went up on the mountain and saw Jesus revealed as God? It was in His
veins, which would be pierced and opened for them on the cross. The blood was
in the words of Moses and Elijah, who spoke with Him about His coming suffering
and death. His blood covered them, and they saw God.
Jesus is God, your crucified God who shed
His blood so that your sins would be forgiven and you might have God’s
blessing. You can and should look forward to seeing His glory one day in heaven,
because none other than the very Son of God, He who is one with the Father, has
paid for your sins! So, wear Him proudly as your crucified God and Savior. Gratefully
take His crucified and risen body and blood into your mouths for the
forgiveness of your every sin. Pay close attention to His prophetic word as “to a
lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in
your hearts” (2 Peter 1). And, wear any rejections and sufferings for
His name, along with the other trials and hardships that you must bear, as His
way of teaching you and strengthening your faith. The Son of God will then most
certainly help you and bless you; of this you can be sure. For, “the
Lord God” – our Jesus! – “is a sun and shield; No good thing does he
withhold from those who walk uprightly.” (Ps. 84)