to give us eternal life instead of eternal condemnation. American revivalist Johnathan Edwards summed this idea well in his famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” If we see the cross as an angry God and Jesus as satisfying His tyrannical wrath, however, we’ve confused God with the devil and thus miss the beautiful truths that took place on Calvary.
The events at Gethsemane left the disciples with dashed hopes. They had believed Jesus was untouchable. I imagine that had Jesus fought and remained undefeated, the disciples would have stayed, defending Him to the death, as Peter had boldly declared he would. These events make me wonder if I too would be scandalized or offended by Jesus based on my assumptions about God.
God provides many details to help us understand the concept of love. While a sheet of music may contain many notes, only one song is sung from them. Unselfish love is that song.
Years ago, I attended a class at a missionary training school in the heart of Oregon. The Bible teacher wrote the Greek word “hilasterion” on the white board and asked the class what it meant. His next question was whether redemption carries a propitiatory dimension.
Have you ever wondered why Jesus compared His death to the bronze serpent that Moses lifted on a pole?