Tuesday, 7 April 2020
The program consisted of me playing Christian records, readings from the Bible, sometimes guests like Father Francis Maple, and often me talking about various Christian subjects and views. You can listen to some of the old tapes I've rescued by clicking on the tab "Reflections Soundtracks" at the top of this Blog.
One Sunday I was getting ready to start my program and the disc jockey who had just finished his program was packing up to go home. He said en-passant, "I can never understand you, Christians. You revel in the cruel death on the Cross of an innocent man!"
I regret to this day that I did not have the time to discuss his statement with him. I was due to go on air and he said good-bye and left.
I think the problem here is that often, even we Christians, do not understand the meaning of Christ's death. We may wear a cross or Crucifix on a chain round our neck, have a Cross at home, or pray beside one in church; but do we really understand what it represents?
Let's consider the Crucifixion for a moment or two.
As Christians, we believe in only one living, omnipotent, creator God who made us all and made everything and everyone else. We believe that He made Himself known to humanity over the ages through the prophets and by various means ever since. There has not been a generation since which has not had the opportunity to know about the existence of God.
To make Himself better known to humanity, God chose, at a time of His own choosing, to appear in human form by sending His only Son, Jesus, on earth. He was born by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary and grew up amongst us as a human being, albeit He was/is God. We saw Him, spoke with Him, and witnessed His many miracles.
When God sent us Jesus, He knew from the start how we would behave. He knew that some of us would rebel against Him, and even put Him to death. He predicted all that through the prophets. Did you know that when we study the life of Jesus, there are more than 300 prophesies about Him in the Old Testament that He fulfilled in His life. Some prophesies He had no personal control over - like where He would be born, the manner of His death and suffering, where He would be buried. The fact that on His death the Romans would not break His legs as they did to the other two crucified with Him. The fact that the Roman soldiers would divide His clothes amongst themselves and gamble for His robe whilst He hung from the Cross.
God knew all these things would happen and He taught the prophets to write about them. Yet, knowing what was to happen, God did not interfere. Did not try to stop it from happening. Why?
Had He interfered He would have been interfering with our freedom to choose; our freedom to do evil; our free will! A freedom we have used for generations to sow death and destruction throughout the world.
God gave us the great gift to choose right from the very beginning of creation. Some angels chose not to love and follow God, and became evil led by Satan. Many amongst us have made similar choices ever since. And God allows it to happen because of His loving gift of free choice to choose. Even to choose to rebel against Him.
It is we, humans, who nailed Christ to the Cross. Not God. It is our hatred, our anger and our rebellion that nailed Him to die a most cruel death. God allowed it to happen because of love for us.
But the story does not end there. As in the death and resurrection of Lazarus; remember when Jesus said, "The final result of this illness will not be the death of Lazarus; this has happened in order to bring glory to God, and it will be the means by which the son of God will receive glory."
Well, the same applies in the death of Christ Himself. His Resurrection was the means by which God, and His only Son, Jesus, would receive glory.
I wish I had the chance to explain all that to my disc jockey friend.