God & Evil

It is perhaps a little disconcerting to come to the awareness that God allows evil.  For some, this is completely surprising, revolting and repulsive!

Yet, for Christians familiar with the Passion accounts in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, it is plainly obvious that very bad people successfully conspire to put the Holy and Eternal Son of God to a painful, horrible death.  While Jesus saw this coming, and perfectly predicted this eventuality, when confronted with this reality, his apostles vehemently protested.  Then, as Calvary crystallized on the horizon, they completely absconded and quickly extricated themselves from any connection with the Christ and His Cross.

Sometimes, in the journey of life, when history unfolds, we too occupy the pews, and say the prayers, but are no more reliable on the path.  When the darkness seems to blot out our neighborhood perception of the light, we preserve our triumphalist vision of faith, either at the expense of victims, or hastily making curious excuses for God that wind up creating more questions than supplying sufficient answers.

The fact is that free human beings can do some truly inhuman things.  They can, they have, they do, and they will.  We can credit Satan, but this just kicks the can of blame down the road.  All things happen under the power of God, and within His passive will, sin is clearly allowed.

Yet, in weakness and yes, even in death, a death on a Cross, sin is redeemed.  That too is a fact, and it is the sum total of the Christian belief.  Alas, the Cross is the Creed.

God made no one do anything on Good Friday.  Whether inspired by evil or not, people enacted depravity of the worst order, as all of Jesus’ disciples must have felt salvation of any kind was an impossibly decomposed concept and an incredibly cruel dream.

Still, the story goes, that when God came to his people, and his own progeny put him to an excruciating end, it turned out to be a whole new beginning, for God had intended all along to allow this tragedy, and use it to establish eternal life.

Mull it over.  That, my friends, is power.

It is also the Gospel, whether broadly and boldly understood or proximately and painfully encountered.  It is the Good News, repugnant when innocent people suffer, but permanently redemptive when those who suffer unto death are the first to be fully saved, unto eternal life.

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