Jesus replied, “It is written in your own Scriptures that God said to certain leaders of the people, ‘I say, you are gods!’ And you know that the Scriptures cannot be altered. So if those people who received God’s message were called ‘gods,’ why do you call it blasphemy when I say, ‘I am the Son of God’? After all, the Father set me apart and sent me into the world. (John 10:34-36)
Relate: The Father set me apart and sent me into the world. Chew on that for a while. Set apart and sent into the world. Imagine being a soldier who had lived and fought in the trenches of France during world war one. You knew the hunger of poor supplies and tepid water. You learned to sleep through a constant barrage of artillery and ignore the rats that scrounge around in the trenches with you. You have seen the horror of watching friends die to your left and your right in a suicidal charge all so that you can advance the front lines a few hundred yards. You have seen the horror of trying to defend your trench as the enemy pours out of theirs to try and retake that portion of a mile you conquered at such a ridiculously high price. You have learned to grab for your mask every time the wind changes direction. You never know when the enemy’s poison gas, or your own, might begin sweeping through like an angel of death. You have faced the horror and you survived.
Now imagine you are a middle aged father. Germany has invaded Poland, they are threatening France. Fascism must be stopped. Hitler is a monster. But you know the price. Now it is your son who must pay it. He is a fresh faced nineteen year old boy full of hope and confidence and totally convinced of his own invincibility. In other words, he is you about twenty years back. You know what this war will cost him. You know that the odds are better than even that he will not return and even if he does there will be scars on his body and mind that time can never heal. Yo know. You have them.
Even still, he must go. To do nothing would be worse. Somebody has to pay the price and your son has been set apart and will now be sent into the war. Can you imagine it? I can’t. I can try. I can read the history and visit the battlefields. I can watch some old black and white newsreels, but nothing can truly fully help me understand the horror of the terrible necessity this father must have faced.
React: Neither can I imagine the Father setting apart the Son to come into this world and the Jesus’ willingness to set aside heaven to come and live among us. We can’t even begin to understand how abhorrent sin is to God, yet He was willingly setting aside heaven to become sin so that we might be freed from it. To what can you compare God Himself willingly set apart the power and authority of heaven? Would a brilliant Olympian choosing to become crippled, blind, deaf and stupid even come close to what He did?
The Father set me apart and sent me into the world. We can never truly understand the sacrifice and the nobility packed into that short sentence. Will will never be able to comprehend how richly and deeply God’s love was made manifest for us… for me, in this act. All we can do, all I can do is step back and say, “Thank You, God.”
God, thank You. There are no other words. Thank You for choosing to come, to live and to die for me. I cannot even begin to imagine how much it cost You to do so. All I can do is say, thank You. Your love is so amazing.