The Puny God that the Romans Defeated
Unlike the mighty God who defeated the Egyptians and saved his people, we see, when we look at the near side of the Cross, a puny God who failed to save his people from the Romans. The Romans tortured and killed Jesus. He suffered and died. In round one against the Egyptians, God won. In round two against the Romans, God lost. Between the time of the Egyptians and the time of the Romans, a mighty God had become a puny God. What happened?
The Son of God did not pay us a visit to do battle with the Romans as he did with the Egyptians. Been there; done that. Our God's encounter with the Egyptians took place to reveal to us his omnipotence. Our God's encounter with the Romans took place to reveal to us something more extraordinary than omnipotence. It took place to reveal that divinity is love itself.
He paid us a visit to do battle with the devil himself. Since the dawn of humanity, the serpent, jealous of God's love for us, has plotted to extinguish it. At Eden, the serpent reasoned, if he could induce Adam and Eve to abdicate the gift of paradise for godlessness, surely their ingratitude would extinguish God's love for humanity. The serpent's plot failed. God continued to love us nonetheless. At Calvary, the serpent reasoned, if he could induce the children of Adam and Eve to torture and kill the Son of God, surely this grievous insult to the person of the Son of God would extinguish God's love for humanity. Again, the serpent's plot failed. God continued to love us nonetheless.
We tortured and killed him. He suffered and died. Yet, he did not stay dead and he did not stop loving us. He emerged from the dead still alive and still in love with us. That he did not stay dead is the proof of the power of Jesus. Nobody emerges from the dead. He did. That he did not stop loving us is the proof that our conception of divinity as power is incomplete.
Divinity is also love. Jesus is the combination of power over us and love for us - absolute and perfect.