Where Is God?

“The image Jesus left with the world, the cross, the most common image in the Christian religion, is proof that God cares about our suffering and pain. He died of it. Today the image is coated with gold and worn around the necks of beautiful girls, a symbol of how far we can stray from the reality of history. But it stands, unique among all religions of the world. Many of them have gods. But only one has a God who cared enough to become a man and to die” (Philip Yancey, Where Is God When It Hurts?).

The cross is more than a fashion statement. It’s more than a symbol of the religion of Christianity.

The cross represents the worst of humanity, and one of its most brutal and degrading ways to execute a human being. All you need to see a glimpse of what a crucifixion was really like is to watch Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, which comes closest to capturing the gory reality but still falls short of the graphic nature of dying on a cross.

God knows and understands our suffering. He knows and understands death. He is not unaware of His people who cry out to him day and night.

Because of the cross and the resurrection, COVID-19 will not have the final say. Death and the grave will not have the final word.

When we celebrate Easter Sunday in a few weeks, we celebrate that not that God wins but that God has already won. Death, hell, the grave, he coronavirus, AIDS, cancer, all other illnesses, and anything else this world can throw up against us, have been forever defeated.

“So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us” (Romans 8:31-39, The Message).

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