True Love

“Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be cast out.” John 12:31

It’s Good Friday! What is your understanding on what happened almost 2000 years ago?

Here’s how I see it. Humanity (influenced by spiritual demonic powers) sank to its lowest when in the name of God and His law, the most devout group of bible-believing, Sabbath-keeping, tithe-paying, health-reforming, messiah-waiting believers the world had ever seen colluded with the government of the dominant world empire (Rome). They desired to nip in the bud the start of a new kingdom preached by a Nazarene carpenter and they did so by publicly humiliating and torturing him to death. This was certainly a move that would aim to intimidate, terrorize and put his followers back in line with the empire.

Yet in the midst of this torture and during this capital punishment, while “sitting in the electric chair” if you will, he asked His Father for these people to be forgiven. He loved humanity and the universe enough to endure torture and execution, unspeakable shame and ridicule. It was love that led Him to Calvary. but on the other hand it was mainly orchestrated by the powers of evil.

A tale of two kingdoms
God’s kingdom, preached by this young carpenter (who happens to be God incarnate) is an altogether different kingdom that does not resort to force, coercion, violence to establish itself on earth. It is a kingdom full of peacemakers; of those who stand up for the oppressed; those who oppose immoral and inhumane political, social behavior and stand against it. It’s a kingdom full of people who love each other and who value others; full of those who take care of themselves and the earth where we live. These people do not look to take advantage over others or put themselves first. They certainly do not use force, coercion and violence to get their way.

This type of kingdom, however, is not seen as a sustainable, much less everlasting, kingdom. In fact, it’s seen as a threat to the ideology of supremacy, power and violence because it exposes the evil of violence, supremacy and power. These are achieved through bullying, exploitation and by crushing (figuratively or literally) the poor, sick, the lowly and all those who dare to speak against these kingdoms of earth and the spiritual kingdom behind them all.

Speaking of the powers of evil, I believe there’s ample evidence to demonstrate that His death and resurrection dismantled these principalities and powers, both earthly and spiritual who used violence to silence the opposition (Eph. 6:12, 1 Cor. 15:24, Heb. 2:14-15, 1 Jn. 3:8). It exposed them as false and an absolute scam to sinless angels as well as to mankind. This revelation seen through his death and resurrection has been the key to maintain loyalty throughout the universe. No kingdom will ever survive by the use of force and violence against the opposition and they will eventually crumble in their presumptuousness, much like all the powerful kingdoms of human history have collapsed.

“And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” Col. 2:15

What about my personal salvation?
The personal/individual aspect of the cross should not be lost in this view of Good Friday though. They are just put into the proper perspective. For instance, instead of believing that our sin has made God angry with us and therefore we need to appease him in order that he forgives, the personal aspect of Good Friday and what Christianity calls salvation, is actually a God who is forgiveness personified, who forgave us from the foundation of the world but through His sacrifice and resurrection, he provided salvation from sin and the power of the devil (2 Tim. 2:26, Gal. 4:3, Rom. 8:2).

We have been duped by the devil into believing lies about God. Remember the story in Genesis? Or Job? How about the devil tempting Christ into doubting the fact he was indeed the son of God after His baptism? For centuries, it has been the adversary’s plan to mask the true nature of the character of God, and in turn we have rejected, rebelled and have not believed the truth about Him.

True, we have been warned that sin results in death and to some degree we’ve all feared it’s actually punishment from God. Yet, I believe what happened on Good Friday is the answer to the question “does sin and rebellion against God result in our final death and destruction?”

The answer is absolutely yes, but it is not execution at the hand of an angry God. Far be it, since God was “in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s sins against them.” 2 Cor. 5:19.

Also, Christ did not cry “Father why are you punishing me?” from that cross, but he cried “why have you forsaken (abandoned) me?” Mt. 27:46. This abandonment is what God’s wrath is described all over the bible, in particular in Romans 1:24, 26, 28 as God giving people over to reap the consequences of their rebellious choice. Christ suffered this eternal separation from God at the cross as if he was himself a sinner, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor. 5:21

To me that is why this Friday is good, because Jesus didn’t die to appease an angry deity like the pagan religions preached for centuries. He didn’t die to pay a legal penalty imposed by a harsh, demanding deity who says “either love me or I will kill you, er, ‘justice’ demands that you be executed'”, no.

The death of Christ exposes evil for what it is and demonstrates the true character of God and in contrast the true character of evil and Satan. And then, the story builds into an amazing crescendo, after what seemed to be the ultimate defeat of God for “he saved others but he can’t save himself” Mat. 27:42. As he had predicted, Jesus was raised from the dead. The universe had seen enough of the lies of Satan and the resurrection proved to the universe that Jesus was telling the truth about Himself and His Father. This same power that raised Him from the dead will raise his loyal followers and go through death on this earth and this is great news. That is the gospel!

This good news changes those who see it in a way that we either choose to join His kingdom and help establish it on earth (as it is in heaven) or we might take a clear path toward open rebellion, rejection and hatred of this king and kingdom. Either way this way of looking at the message of Easter should separate us in two distinct groups of people.

I hope that this revelation of true love brings you love, joy and assurance of a happy and fulfilling future of living in His kingdom with Him forever.

True Love
“Come close, listen to the story
About a love more faithful than the morning
The Father gave His only Son just to save us

The earth was shaking in the dark
All creation felt the Father’s broken heart
Tears were filling heaven’s eyes
The day that true love died, the day that true love died
When blood and water hit the ground
Walls we couldn’t move came crashing down
We were free and made alive
The day that true love died, the day that true love died

Search your hearts, you know you can’t deny it
Lose your life just so you can find it
The Father gave His only Son just to save us

Jesus is alive
He rose again”
-Phil Wickham


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