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27th February: We See Jesus

We see Jesus... Hebrews 2:9

Yesterday I admitted an eighteen-year-old girl unconscious from a severe head injury. The Casualty Sister took me aside and said she had been on duty eighteen months previously when a brother and sister from the same family had been killed in another car accident. I went to speak to the parents with some trepidation, and found two middle-aged people, not hysterically weeping, though obviously distraught, but quiet and in control of themselves. They thanked me for coming to talk to them.

What could I say to such people? I felt helpless, and yet I longed somehow to be able to comfort them. They are old enough to be my own parents, and their intimate experience of suffering is far greater than my short exposure to other people's grief.

How would I cope with such an experience, myself? Our humanist society believes that there is ample evidence that no loving God exists -- or, if he does, then he must be impotent. Doesn't this incident support their view? Yet Sunday by Sunday, I stand shoulder to shoulder with other Christians and say I believe in God, the Father Almighty.

The letter to the Hebrews -- written to people who were in danger of giving up their faith -- has the answer: we see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honour because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering (Heb 2:9-10).

God does not answer the `why?' -- just as the `why?' of Job was not answered. The point at issue is rather the real nature of God. Seeing Jesus, we know that God is both wholly good and wholly loving. Faith trusts that, and accepts the inevitable tension that remains this side of heaven.

Further reading: Hab 3:17-18. Ps 73. Heb 2:9-18.


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