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    updated 8.29.11

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Rough Day For a Father

With each passing year, with the deepening of each of the lines around my eyes and the growing realization that if I were to stop shaving my head, it would matter less and less…I increasingly view Good Friday from a different perspective.

I’ve thought about it from the angle of a sinner saved by grace. I’ve placed my  self at the foot of the cross, throwing dice while a savior died overhead.  Like everyone who’s ever seen a traditional church Easter production, I’ve sat in the pew wondering “what if those nails were real…”….but as my tribe grows, I find myself exploring the scene from a view that I’ve never considered….what must it be like to be the Father.

We have been very blessed in that none of our children have ever been seriously ill.  Even so, the grip on my heart during the course of normal injuries – one broken leg, countless stitches and staples, and one unbelievable goose egg that appeared over Zion’s eye after a wicked fall from a stool as he enjoyed his first Double Double in an In-N-Out in Los Angeles – I might not comprehend the feeling of watching my kids be seriously injured, but I have felt that moment of terror when it wasn’t quite evident what had happened.  In particular, I remember leaving my 225,000 mile Audi 5000, smoke pouring from it’s tailpipe, smelling of burning rubber, as I bolted into an ER in East Tennessee to find Jackson, all of two years old, with a broken leg.  I would have done anything I could to stop the tears and confusion.

There is nothing comparable to watching  your children process pain.  It is excruciating when you know you can do nothing about it.  I cannot imagine what it must be like to watch it knowing that you have the power to stop it, but for the good of all mankind, it must be this way.

Undoubtedly, as Jesus carried the cross beam up the hill, His Father pondered His own words in Deuteronomy…for anyone hung on a tree is under God’s curse.

God Himself made the rules…and no one could live up to the rules except His own Son.  This is where history was going since the snake struck a deal…but it’s one thing to know where history is going, and it’s an entirely different thing to witness it.  To see your Son writhe in pain.  To watch them count the nails, making sure there were enough.  To hear the dull thud of the cross as it dropped into the hole, and the tearing of His flesh as His weight fell upon the nails.

Some would propose this makes God a monster…that a Father who would allow this is truly no father at all.  The Apostle Paul saw it differently, writing in Galatians:

“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written: Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

God was not disinterested in the cross.  He wasn’t ambivalent regarding the pain of His only Son….rather He was overpoweringly conscious of the pain of every individual on the earth.

The Father that would allow this is truly a Father to all.


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