The death of my god



Filed under : Uncategorized



*WARNING*

You have to read this ENTIRE blog entry, because if you only read a portion of it, I’m going to come across as a pure heretic and you’re going to end up confused.

“Good Friday” as it is known among Christians today is perhaps the most important event in Christianity for me. I’ve always looked at Good Friday from the perspective of God’s immense love for His children, in that He did not spare Jesus who died as a ransom for our sins. As C.S. Lewis once wrote, “it costs God nothing so far as we know to create nice things; but to convert rebellious souls cost Him crucifixion.” While that perspective is eternally true, this year, I’ve had the “privilege” of seeing Good Friday in a completely and equally true perspective; that of the disciples watching their master and savior die on the cross.

If we look at the situation from their perspective, and force ourselves to pause long enough to walk in their shoes, Good Friday to them wasn’t a story about love; it was a time of pure chaos, shock and most importantly, disappointment. Think about it, from the time that Jesus called his disciples to follow Him, they were no doubt amazed by all the things that He did. He routinely healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, spoke with authority and uttered the most profound truths ever known.

THIS Jesus was the man. In the 3 years that He performed his public ministry of healings, miracles and sermons, I’m sure His disciples were overwhelmed and thrilled at the prospect of being his follower. Jesus’ triumphant entry on Palm Sunday solidified their confidence in Him as He was celebrated wildly as soon as he entered the town. Jesus was more popular than a rock star.

The real story here is in the disciples expectations of Jesus. As you read through the gospel accounts, it’s abundantly clear that the Jews at that time, a once proud and sovereign nation were no longer in control; rather, they were under the direct rule of the Roman empire. For centuries Rome ruled over Judea and although there were short lived periods of successful Jewish revolt, eventually Rome regained control. More than anything, Jewish people wanted the Kingdom to be restored in which Roman rule would be ended and Israel would be a sovereign nation once again. As devout and nationalistic Jews, Jesus’ disciples wanted the same thing: restore the Kingdom to Jewish rule.

But on Good Friday, Jesus would fall short of their expectations of him…WAY short. Instead of Jesus leading a revolt against the Roman empire, on Good Friday when they witnessed Jesus being beaten and eventually gasping for air on a cross, love wasn’t the message they immediately received, THIS Jesus was a failure. Not believing that Jesus would be resurrected a couple days later, all they could see is their hope for a brighter future bloodied and wounded beyond recognition. The triumphant Jesus that they once heralded as Lord was now nothing more than a common man, next to common criminals, dying a gruesome death. They had to be thinking, “I gave up everything I had to follow Jesus and this is how it ends?”

Shockingly, this disappointment is the same event upon which God built the Church.

Fast forward about 2,000 years to the present day, Good Friday. In some ways today I myself, and many of my readers might be in a season of life where you identify more so with the disciples perspective of unmet expectations, unanswered requests and confusion than that of God’s unending love for His children. The Jesus I had known and followed, that has always “blessed” me with health, prosperity and favor is no longer riding on a donkey to cheers and applause. Now, the triumphant Jesus I once knew is barely gasping for air on a cross, robbing me of all of my earthly aspirations and dreams.

For those who don’t know, my wife was diagnosed with a very rare and very malignant cancer in June, 2010. Despite the dismal prognosis initially, by the mercy of God in a matter of weeks, her tumor, previously encasing her entire heart was no longer visible. Our doctors were thrilled and told us her case was truly miraculous. Jesus, my Jesus was the man. He was victorious over cancer and my wife and I were getting our lives back, but most importantly, Jesus met my expectations.

The problem was our victory was short lived. Triumph was replaced with tears and heartache when we discovered that her tumor was back, and stronger than ever. We were both disappointed beyond measure; and above all, in a state of shock. Jesus, my Jesus was a failure. He didn’t meet our expectations. I was clueless why He was allowing this to happen in my life. My version of Jesus, was dying.

I don’t think that I’m alone in this world in terms of having expectations go unmet or having been disappointed. If you’ve ever lived through the disappointment of a miscarriage, sudden death of a loved one, loss of a job, or any other unanswered prayer and I’m sure you felt the sting of disappointment and confusion.

But here’s the good news, your story, or my story doesn’t end at the disappointment. (Are you ready for a cliche?) God is eternal, and God is sovereign. Plainly stated, that means that God is in control over everything. Every atom in the entire universe is under the direct control of God, whose plans can never be thwarted. God’s plans for you and for me existed before the world was ever formed, and the same eternal God that created millions of galaxies allowed everything that has happened in your life. To state the obvious, God is much bigger than you or I can understand. And this God, though he may not have met every one of your expectations is in complete control, and still possesses all power, even when He seems to be gasping for air. He had it planned all along. Even if we live through the pain of a crucifixion, there is something better, MUCH better around the corner…the resurrection. God can use an earthly bad and turn it into an eternal good.

Hold on, don’t prematurely judge what God is doing in your life, even if it makes no sense. He’s making all things new. God can use your greatest pain and turn it to be for your good and His glory (Rom 8:28).

If God didn’t meet your expectations of Him, that’s fine. If God “failed” you by letting you get sexually assaulted, get cheated on by your spouse, be infertile, lose a loved one or a host of other things that happen in life, my heart breaks with yours for your pain. Just know that you’re not the first person to feel that way, and, more importantly, there’s more to the story than you can see at the moment. Your expectations of God may have failed, but God NEVER fails. In your weakness, God’s strength will be made perfect.

I’m not a betting man, but if I were I’d bet the house that if you asked Jesus’ disciples what was the worst, most confusing time of their lives, it was watching Jesus be crucified. But that moment is the turning point in human history.

God is sovereign, He knows what He’s doing.

Psalm 27:14 “Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!”

(Special shout out to my friend Brian Moll at Forefront Church for preaching a great sermon on suffering which helped me in my “Good Friday” experience. Check it out here:
http://forefrontchurch.com/media#!/swx/pp/media_archives/110526/episode/20621)

Leave a reply

7 Responses to “The death of my god”

  1. Candy West says:

    Jordan you are one of the strongest ppl I’v ever heard of Roman chp 8 tells us that suffuring we endure is nothing compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us that are in Christ Jesus Ilove you with the love of the Lord my brother in Christ my daughters my husband and I will continual to keep you high and lifted up you and Dani saved our marriage God bless you and your family!

  2. GRice says:

    Jordan, I had never considered the Good Friday story from the disciples’ perspective – the myriad of emotions that flow when watching a loved one die. Certainly, it was brought home last night as we watched Danielle make her peaceful transition. But unlike the disciples who were utterly confused, hopeless and disappointed, we have the assurance that Danielle is in a perfect place and that we will all be together again in eternity.
    I love you and Danielle with all my heart.
    Mom

  3. Alfancena Barrett(Alfie) says:

    Jordan, my first words are “Praise the Lord!” Like you said it is for our good and God receives the glory. This is a powerful message and one God wants you to share and you could not have done so, if you had not gone through that experience.

    My prayer for you is that God will grant you peace at this moment and that you will continue to be used by Him. I am just picturing God with His arms around you and Danielle smiling at you. God knew you knew an angel to assist you in what He has for you to do and that is one of reasons He took her s soon, the other reasons you will know when you see Him face to face. God’s love and comfort be with you now and forever.

  4. Cathy S. Carpenter says:

    Hi Jordan,
    I’m you neighbor here at Colonial House. I live in 1B. We have crossed paths several times and shared only a few words. I have had you both in my prayers. So glad to see that you are strong in the faith that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. We are Spirit having a human experience. But as humans we don’t remember our original state.We’re stuck in our five sense based perceptions of life. We don’t remember the truth of who we are… made in the image of an omnipotent, all knowing, all powerful, unblemished, whole, completely loving ETERNAL God…. unfathomable. Danielle lives, moving on a journey that will fulfill her soul’s quest to move into greater awareness of the truth of Spirit first. Namaskar

  5. Keondra Butler says:

    Hello Jordan,

    I don’t know you personally, but I just happened to have stumbled across your blog, and can’t express how thankful I am that I did! The message you portrayed through this blog entry touched me in a profound way; but evenmoreso, your strength and obedience to share God’s word in the midst of your storm, truly inspire me to push forward through life’s trials, and to continue to strive for greatness in Christ! Words can not express how sorry I am for your loss, but as long as you have faith, you’re equipped with everything you need to make it through… For if He brought you to it, He will bring you through it! Be blessed, and I’ll continue to keep you and your family in my prayers.¬†

    Sincerely,

    Keondra Butler 

  6. Nicole says:

    Jordan,

    I am touched by your bravery in this difficult time. My family wishes you strength and peace.

    Please accept my sincere condolences to you and your family.

    We can be reminded in our deepest, darkest times God walks with us and blessed us.

    With deep sympathy,
    Nicole

  7. LaMonica says:

    I heard about your wife through a friend of hers who had posted some of her story on his FB page…I found your blog on this date and read it…and I am in tears. While I am sorry for your loss and offer my condolences my tears are not of sadness. They are of joy of your reminder that God IS CERTAINLY in control of everything. I had a pastor to say that we are always in God’s hands, no matter what he ALLOWS to touch us. Thank you for this…my heart is heavy and I am thankful…this message was right on time. May God bless you and keep you…

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a reply (without Facebook)