God's Solution

Good Friday and Easter are God's answer to the problem of evil.

There is a lot of personal suffering going on, the manifestation of evil in the world.  People strain under the weight of the burdens they carry, looking for relief.  People hurt, deeply.

Over and over in the Bible, we witness God answering the cry to help.  The Passover was a stunning response, delivering Israel out of slavery.  Lowly Moses, who was reluctant to speak, confronted the Pharaoh of Egypt and gave him an ultimatum from God.  "Let my people go!"  And then a face off took place where God showed His superior power and authority over the power of Egypt's magicians and king. 

I've heard several people express what Passover means:  family, welcoming strangers, etc.  While these lessons might be extrapolated from the Passover, it isn't the fundamental lesson.  It is the triumph of God over evil.

God delivers.  God saves.

Good Friday Jesus faced the most personal confrontation with evil that God could take on.  He experienced the weight of all sin.  He knows what it is to suffer.  He understands our suffering because He shared it.  And He also triumphed over it.  I love the transition of Good Friday to Easter because it demonstrates the power of God over evil and suffering, over the darkness.  God's power overcomes it all.  And the deepest mourning can turn into rejoicing.  No matter how dark our lives can get, God is more powerful.  He demonstrated His power over death.  And it's the reality of these events,not their symbology, that instills our hope.  We can trust God because He did accomplish these things so He will act in our lives. 

Good Friday and Easter are God's practical answer to evil.

God delivers.  God saves.

Last weekend devastating tornadoes brought more suffering to many, many people.  I heard an interview with a young woman whose mother was killed, whose home was just blown away.  Her family had also suffered other problems in recent months.  The interviewer asked her how she could cope.  She said that she knows that God won't give her more than she can handle.  The interviewer pressed, but how can you cope with all you're going through; it's too much.  The woman reiterated that she knows God won't give her more than she can handle, so if He has allowed this that means He knows she can handle it with His help.  She trusts God.

The Good Friday/Easter answer to the problem of evil is that God cares.  He knows our suffering intimately.  His power is greater than evil and He can redeem it, turning mourning into rejoicing. 

God delivers.  God saves. 

Good Friday isn't the final answer.  Easter is.

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Melinda Penner

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