Sunday, May 24, 2009

Investigating the Murder of God

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From generation to generation people have tried to get rid of God through many ways. Since Adam fell into sin, humans have tried to murder God. Humans’ attempt to get rid of God has evolved from subtle to harsh. Basically there are three kinds of attempts: 1) blaming God as the ultimate cause, 2) rejecting God and replacing God with other gods, and 3) killing God when He came visiting the world. Then after God is considered dead, the world goes on to assume that God does not exist.
Adam committed the sin that brought the entire human race to the brink of total depravity. Instead of admitting his fall, he accused God of being the ultimate cause of his sinful act. God asked Adam: “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” (Genesis 3:11), and Adam answered: “The woman YOU PUT HERE WITH ME—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it” (Genesis 3:12, emphasis is mine). Adam’s answer is his attempt to deflect responsibility of his own sin to God. True that in Genesis chapter 2, God was the one that created Eve to be Adam’s helper. But by putting Eve on Adam’s side, God did not mean for Adam to fall. God’s will was for Adam to not be alone, but so that Adam might find Eve to be his suitable helper. Adam did find Eve to be his perfect companion: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man” (Genesis 2:23). Adam knew that God did not intend to bring Adam to fall by putting Eve there with him. But yet he blamed God for the good thing God did for him.
Imagine yourself in a situation where you are a good parent and you have a son. One day your son comes to you and seeks your advice for one big matter he cannot solve. He impregnates his girlfriend and now he is confused as to what he should do. His parent gives him a sound advice that he should take the responsibility. After a long discussion he finally agrees to the decision to marry his girlfriend. He and his girlfriend are in their mid twenty. They are not too young for their age to get married. They have been together for quite some time as boyfriend and girlfriend. So actually there is no reason against them getting married. Then they get married. Now, your son falls in love with someone else. He is caught having an affair. Instead of admitting his sin, he blames you as his parent for advising him to marry his girlfriend. He tells you that he actually does not love his wife. If you feel that your heart is being stabbed with a knife by your son, then you might have a glimpse of what God felt the day Adam blamed God for the sin he voluntarily committed. Doesn’t it feel like your son is killing you by blaming you for the good advice you gave him? Wouldn’t it be right to think that Adam was killing God the minute he blamed God for giving him Eve?
Since then, people have gone astray. They don’t know who God is anymore. People have replaced the one true God with their invention. Even God’s chosen people did not want anything to do with Him. Exodus 32 records the event when Israel rejected God and replaced Him with a golden calf. Exodus 32 is an extremely serious account, because God brought Israel out of Egypt. God fought Egypt and destroyed them with his mighty hand. Israel did not do anything. They only watched and witnessed God sent plague after plague to demolish Egypt. But yet, soon after they were out in the desert, free from slavery, they did not want God. They made an idol and declared: “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt” (Exodus 32:4). Similarly, Israel rejected God and wanted to replace God with a king when Samuel was the prophet in Israel. God told Samuel: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you” (I Samuel 8:7-8).
The first account was when God just liberated Israel from Egypt’s oppression, and the second account was when Israel already settled in the Promised Land. On both accounts, Israel made it clear that they did not want God. Imagine again, your son is being beaten by a bully and you defend him and save him. Soon after he is free from the bully, he tells you that you are not his father. Or, imagine, your son’s life is miserable to the point of bankruptcy, and he loses everything he has. Then you bring him to your home, tells all your servants to obey him because he is your son, and you give him authority over your company under your supervision. Soon after he is settled, he kicks you out of your own house and company. What do you feel? It does feel like your son is saying: “Die!” right to your face, doesn’t it? Perhaps that’s what God felt in those two accounts. His own people attempted to get rid of their own God.
The attempt to get rid of God is getting even harsher. Then God sent His own Son, who is also God, to the world. He sent His Son to His own people, the people He created and chose. Instead of welcoming God’s Son, who is God, they killed him. And they killed him for a ridiculous reason:
Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many miraculous signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people that that the whole nation perish.” (John 11:45-50)
Of course, according to human reason, it is better for one person to be sacrificed than one nation perishes. However, it is not what actually happened when Caiaphas said what he said. He was afraid that the Romans would occupy Israel. That fear is reasonable. No people want to be occupied by other people. Israel knew what it felt to be put under slavery. But know that when all this happened, Israel was already occupied by the Romans. So his reasoning fell short, which means that it wasn’t the actual reason for killing Jesus. Even Pilate knew the real reason they wanted to kill Jesus: “For he [Pilate] knew it was out of envy that they had handed Jesus over to him” (Matthew 27:18).
This is the harshest attempt humans do to get rid of God. They truly murdered God. They premeditated the murder. This is first degree murder. But in this broken world, they got away with such murder. Evidences are mounted and those evidences are undeniable. That day, His own people shouted: “Crucify Him!” Jesus, the Son of the Living God, was murdered by the craftiest plan and the most evil motive ever. Jesus was no criminal. Even Pilate testified: “I find no basis for a charge against him [Jesus]” (John 18:38). Jesus never did anything sinful. He never wronged anyone. Rather, He healed the sick, he opened the eyes of the blind, he made the mute speak, the deaf could hear again because of His touch, he fed thousands of people miraculously, He cast out demons and unclean spirits, and he raised the dead. Everyday He taught people to repent for the Kingdom of God is near. But yet they murdered the only one holy and sinless. They murdered God himself. His own people that He cared, that he loved, that He protected, devised a plan to get rid of Him forever. Imagine, your son hired a killer and devised a plan and then betrayed you, and so have you killed before his eyes. What do you feel? I don’t think words can describe your feeling anymore.
About nineteen hundred years later after Jesus was murdered on Golgotha, Nietzsche brought back the legendary Zarathustra to proclaim: “God is dead!” This time, Nietzsche did not attempt to murder God. He simply proclaimed that God was already dead. He understood that God was no more, God did not live anymore. Then Nietzsche started his new belief, the Ubermensch or the Superman or the Overman. Nietzsche did not put any effort to murder God. He simply testified that God was dead a long time ago. Dostoyevsky is right when he said in The Brothers Karamazov that if there is no God, people can do whatever they want. People really do whatever they want as if there is no God. But does it mean that God is no more? Nietzsche forgot that although God did die on Calvary, he did rise again on the third day. His proclamation that God is dead is 1900 years late. Jesus really died, but he also rose to live on the third day. All Christians have proclaimed ever since that “God is alive!” He was murdered. God has been murdered many times, but He is alive.
Adam attempted to murder God by blaming Him of the good thing He did. Israel attempted to murder God by replacing Him with an idol and rejecting Him as their ruler. The world murdered God by crucifying the Son of God on Calvary. In the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, people assumed that there is no God and that they can do whatever they want. They are mistaken. All they do is destroying the only space in their hearts that can only be filled by God. All they do is poisoning their own minds and thus convincing themselves with the biggest lie that there is no God. All they do is murdering their own conscience that testifies of the existence of God. No human beings can murder God. They can try, but God will live forever. The shame of humanity is on their motive to get rid of the One true God, in order to be god. No one can get rid of God, all we can do is lie to ourselves that we can ignore God or that there is no God or that God is dead.
The one true God that we know in Jesus Christ is a marvelous God. Humans have been treating God so badly. The murder of the Son of God is the worst thing ever happens in this world. Calvary is the worst thing ever happens to a god. But our God has turned the worst of the worst into the best of the best. The Son of God’s death on Calvary has been turned into the salvation of many.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:18)

* The Business of Christian Education VI

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