How do we make sense of the evil that so often rears its head in our world? I along with others watch with shock and horror as the BBC website carried the first hints of the bombings in London yesterday. In the face of such indiscriminate malice what does one think?
I have to confess that when I listen to those who strip away mystery and make confident assertions about how such things could be, it often sounds to me like foolishness. The reality is that when we probe for answers to human suffering we are in grave danger of saying that which we ought not to say. The book of Job draws towards it’s conclusion with Job admitting that he “Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” Job 42:3
So I will seek to avoid such pitfalls and simply share a thought:
I’m grateful that Jesus did not come down from the cross. Do you remember how they taunted him? “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Mat 27:40
Do you recognize the taunt “If you are?” Do you hear the echo from an earlier time in the ministry of Jesus? When three times in the wilderness the devil speaks to tempt Jesus from his mission and on the first two occasions begins his taunt with the words; “if you are the son of God.”
The devils temptation is to hunger easily satisfied and to acclamation easily gained but it is not God’s way. And the taunts of those who mocked were a temptation to escape the Father’s redemptive plan, but Jesus did not come down from the cross.
I do not pretend to understand why evil flourishes in our world, but I know that God’s sovereignty is never compromised. I know that God has done something about it. I know that God’s redemptive commitment to our world is massive and costly and I know that God loves this broken and fallen world and the sinners who live in it. I do not pretend to understand but I’m grateful because Jesus did not come down from the cross.