This is a post written for me (because my memory is faulty) and for Hannah. She’ll get to read it in the morning. Tonight, Hannah had questions for me. I answered them as fully as I thought to then, but as I reflected on them tonight, I realized that there was more that needed to be said.
So Hannah asked if Jesus called himself the Son of Man so that he wouldn’t have to rob a bank or something to be crucified.
At first, I thought that Hannah didn’t realize that the Son of Man was a Messianic title. I thought that she needed to know that Daniel had called the Savior the Son of Man. But, no, she knew that. So what she was wondering was: did He reveal himself as the Son of God so that the Israelites would charge Him with blasphemy and give Him the death penalty so that He would be killed for our sins.
I replied that no, He had revealed Himself as the Messiah because it was true. I didn’t mention John 18:37 where Jesus reveals that His purpose was to bear witness to the truth, but it fits. If Jesus’ purpose was to testify to the truth, revealing Himself as the Christ would certainly fit.
Then, I stated that they didn’t kill Him because of blasphemy. He had revealed Himself as the Son of God through His miracles many times before they arrested and killed Him. They killed Him, I explained because of God’s plan, God had hardened their hearts (because of unfaithfulness) so that they could not believe He was the Christ. And, they killed Him because of their jealousy and (I didn’t add this part to her, but I’ll add it now) because of their fear that He would cause a war with Rome that would cause more oppression and death. I mentioned God’s rescue plan for us and that God had used their hard hearts to further His plan to save us through Christ’s death and resurrection.
But, I have to say, as I sat and thought about it. I missed it. I missed a BIG thing, and that is this:
His death on the cross was never about what He had done. He did everything perfectly. He always was truthful and kind. His love was perfect. His anger was perfect. His death on the cross wasn’t about what He had said. The priests were amazed by His knowledge of the scriptures even in His youth. He answered all of the questions of his accusers. He even answered Satan well. It wasn’t about what He had done, it wasn’t about what He had said, it was about what we had done, all of humanity, from the beginning to the end. He was taking our punishment, a punishment that we caused through our sin, a punishment that was caused by humans very much like ourselves reacting in jealousy, greed, fear, betrayal, and ignorance to kill an innocent man. A man that had never done anything wrong. It was our sin and their sin, that we share, that killed Him.
Although His death was never about what He had done, it was all about what He was doing. The rescue plan of God has been promised from the time of sin. It arrived at just the right time. It continues until He comes again. Romans 5:8, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
So, do your kids make you think this hard before bed or am I raising tiny theologians? Tell me I’m not alone. Please.