Friday, 6 August 2010

Indifferent or incapable, or...something else?

I want to follow up on the previous post regarding the suffering in the world, and draw from an incident in the ministry of the Lord Jesus, as found in John 11. In this chapter we see the classic atheistic argument, that is, if God loves us and is all-powerful then why is there suffering?

The situation in the chapter is that one of the Lord's friends, Lazarus, was sick. Lazarus' sisters sent word to Christ to tell Him of this, and He delayed until Lazarus died, then went to the village of Bethany where all this happened. As the Lord witnessed the sorrow of the bereaved He wept. This baffled the spectators: as they saw the Lord Jesus weeping they said, “Behold how He loved him!” Then, “could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?” They saw His love and His power, so the question they arose – why didn’t He preserve Lazarus’ life? Surely He would, given His love, and surely he could, given His power. But the indisputable fact was that Lazarus was dead! The problem was, they supposed they were at the end of the story, but they weren’t! The story would end with resurrection, reuniting, greater glory to Christ, greater joy to His own, and an appreciation of Him that the avoidance of the sorrow would not have yielded. So it is with this world – we are not at the end of the story – this world will be free from the curse, and Christ will be glorified and His people blessed at the end of the story in a way that would not be possible if troubles had been avoided. You can book your place in that Paradise by receiving the cleansing and forgiveness that Christ provided by His death and resurrection and offers to the repentant.