I’m not sure if I’ll be able to convey the thoughts I’ve been having since Sunday’s sermon.
But, the question I have in my mind is: Would it be easier to “be removed” and die or “get involved” and die?
The only example I have been able to think of in human terms is having friends move. We recently have had friends move into our city, then into our church, then into our small group. They are only passing through, on their way to another country. I have a choice to make: to withhold myself from them or give myself to them.
When we stay removed from a situation, we are able to somewhat guard our hearts, protect our feelings, spare our emotions.
When we get involved, our feelings can’t be spared, the protection is removed from our hearts, emotions are unguarded.
So, when I think about Jesus coming to earth and making friends, I just think about the alternative —
What if he came and died for sins but was somehow removed from the pain that the involvement of true friendship can bring?
Jesus was sad and angered by the death of Lazarus because he loved him (John 11).
He wasn’t removed, and he didn’t withhold human feelings but got involved. He had relationships with real people, enough to hurt over them. He didn’t just appear from heaven — to a cross — then back.
When I think about my sinful self, I think of how willing I am to get involved. Maybe I’ll “do” for people, maybe I’ll even invite you into my small group, but if I know it will result in hurt or even seeing your sinfulness, I should probably stay somewhat removed. I know it’s Christ and not me, but if it were me, I might do better dying if I were removed. If I were involved, it would be hard to see the depth of sin. It may be even harder to be friends. It would just be easier to stay removed than get in the mess.
Jesus knew he would hurt.
He knew they would hurt him.
He knew he would see the depths of their sinfulness.
He got involved.
Beyond the involvement of any other man.
“The miracle of the incarnation is that we don’t have a distant God who treats our sin, suffering and death like an impersonal business transaction. Since sin and suffering are personal, Jesus is personal. He’s the God who feels our pain, weeps over suffering, and involves himself in our mess, in order to identify with us and rescue us.” Greg Gibson
For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:7-8)