Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The glorious fact about Christ: His empathy with Death

The beauty of God's love for through the sending of His Son, Jesus, is a tremendous expression of love in many ways. We all know, of course, that the greatest part of Christ's time on earth is His Crucifixion on that Friday and Resurrection that Sunday. And while we should rejoice in His resurrection and His ascension into Heaven, we should also realize what Dr. Cornel West, Professor of Religion at Princeton, calls “the painful laughter of blues notes and the terrifying way of the cross;” the concept that we have a God who actually is able to empathize with us in all aspects including death itself. That in itself is reason enough to rejoice and couple that with the fact that He would eventually defeat death, is a reason to see that we truly have an awesome God.

When Adam and Eve committed the Original Sin, mankind was condemned to death; not just in the physical but also in the Spiritual as truly separated from God Himself. Romans 6:23 claims that the wages of our sin is death. The fact that we are descended from Adam and Eve means that we are completely depraved from the moment we are born means that we are born as enemies of God and therefore doomed to die.

However, God loved us so much that He sent His son to die for us, therefore, sending Himself to die for us. John 1:1 claims "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The Word of course is Christ.

Because of the Hypostatic Union, Chr ist was and is Fully God while still Fully Man. Therefore, while He is still God, because He is also human, He was able to empathize with us. He ate like a man, had parents like a human and had all of the bodily functions that a Human had, all the while still maintaining His Deity.

Hence, when Christ was crucified, we witness one of the most glorious parts of the whole Christ story; that Christ, our God, not only would be able to empathize with us in the pain of life but would also be able to empathize in the facing of death. This is why Christ cried out "My God why has Thou Forsaken Me?" to God the Father; He knows He is about to face the ultimate consequence of sin, which is death.

To have a God that is able to not only empathize with death but also to have experienced one of the most gruesome manners of being killed, can give us comfort in that we should have no fear of dying. If our Lord and Savior can face death in the face and defeat it when He rose on the Third Day, then we, His Children have nothing to fear because he has allowed us to live and not have to experience the painful separation from God. Because Christ experienced death, we do not have to experience separation from him. What a wonderful fact and all the more reason to rejoice in Christ.

Isaiah 53:3 "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. " KJV

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