Baptism

The Relationship of Suffering to the Message

God had something to tell us. God had something to say. God had an important message for us. The message was so important that God personally involved themselves in 1) the message 2) its delivery and 3) the guarantee of its genuineness.

What is the message? 

The message is that God loves us dearly. 

How was the message delivered to us? The message was so important that God did not delegate its delivery to a subordinate. God did not put the message into the hands of a flunky. God delivered the message themselves. The most Holy Trinity sent the Son of God to deliver their message to us. He was the messenger and the message. Furthermore, He was the guarantor of its genuineness. 

He was their love note to us.

How did God guarantee the genuineness of the message?  

Suffering.

God allowed us to baptize the love note in the boiling cauldron of suffering.

God allowed us to impale the love note on the sharp hook of salvation while He was human, alive, tender, vulnerable and our guest upon the earth..

Like silver, God allowed us to test the love note in the furnace.

God allowed us to torture and kill the Son of God. 

If the love note were counterfeit, His love for us would have faded as we tortured Him and died when we killed Him. But it did not. His love for us survived.

The survival of His love for us is the guarantee that God gave us that the love note was genuine. The survival of His love for us despite the suffering and death we inflicted upon Him verified the veracity of the love note. Suffering authenticated it. Suffering proved that God's love for us is indestructible. 

Can you even imagine a better, more reliable guarantee? 

God wrote the guarantee of the genuineness of their message of love in the ink of suffering. Why? Because the guarantee was addressed to creatures who suffer. Creatures who suffer understand what it means to survive suffering.

On the canvas of Calvary in the pigments of pain and suffering, God painted a self portrait of the nature of God  Why? Before Calvary and since Calvary, many representation have been created of the nature of God. All of them without exception and regardless of their author are inferior to the self-portrait that God painted with their own hand at Calvary. All of them must yield to the self-portrait.

In the Ten Commandments, God admonished us not to make any representations of them. Why? God knew that any representations of them would be inferior to the representation God would give us at Calvary.

Suffering was not the message.

Suffering was not the messenger.Suffering did not deliver the message.

Suffering guaranteed the message.

Suffering is the seal that God placed on the message of love to guarantee that the message is genuine.

The only universal language to survive the confounding of languages that took place at Babel was the language of suffering. All creatures who suffer understand it. It is our native tongue. God became a creature who suffers so He could communicate with us in our native tongue



The Guarantee of the Genuineness of the Love Note

We tortured and killed him. He suffered and died. Yet, he did not stay dead and he did not stop loving us.

Why did the Son of God pay the exorbitant cost of our salvation?

The theory that the Son of God took the bullet meant for us besmirches the reputation of God the father. It can't be valid. God the Father is not a monster. He did not shoot his Son. He loves his son.

At Bethlehem, God delivered to us a love note. Imagine that. A love note from God to us. It was a most unusual love note. The love note was different. It was not just the word of God written on dead paper. It was the word of God written on life itself. It lived and breathed. The love note was alive! It was written in the form of a baby born in the most humble of circumstances in the boondocks of time and space. It was inconspicuous, anonymous and remote. By all measures, it ought to have been overlooked but it was not.

Why was it not?

Because it came with a guarantee.

God did not just put the love note into our hands. God put a guarantee of its genuineness into our hands as well.

At Calvary, His love for us was put to the test. Contrary to normal expectations, we baptized him (Matthew 3:13-17). If the love note were counterfeit, his love for us would have faded as we tortured him and died when we killed him. But it did not. It survived. The evil we did to him did not extinguish his love for us nor reduce it by even the slightest degree. 

The dial that controls his love for us is in his hands not ours. Moreover, it is set to the highest degree and is locked in place.

That his love for us survived intact and undiminished the evil we did to us is the guarantee that the love note is genuine. 

The God who fashioned us out of the mud with his hands put himself into the hands of the mud to reveal to the mud the sweetness of paradise.