Unmatched love nailed by unmatched hate – Wednesday, 4th week in Lent – Isaiah 49:8-15/ John 5:17-30

A life of sin, when confronted, can make one contrite or arrogant. The first attitude may lead you to the gates of heaven (you may not get in, but you at least get there) the second delivers you to the fires of hell. Well, you might see this as judgmental but then again you would do the same had you bent forwards and backwards multiple times to accommodate an errant child; and in this case, the child was an entire nation.

The people of Israel were marched into Babylon because of their bad choices. Yet they blame God for their mistakes. Did God not send them messenger after messenger, and did they not disregard his word? So, when the people of the Southern Kingdom comprising two of Israel’s twelve tribes, were marched into Babylon in 587 BC, they had it coming.

Yet you could be the arrogant thief who died unrepentant besides Jesus or the one who in humility asked but to be ‘remembered.’ Judah had learnt nothing in captivity except to blame God. Verse 15 of the text today tells us that Judah accused God of abandoning them while they were in captivity, “the Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has abandoned me.” In reality, they had abandoned his love time and time again.

But read the text of today and you are left perplexed. In the face of their resentment and unapologetic behaviour, Yahweh is making promise after promise to his people. “At the favourable time I will answer you, on the day of salvation I will help you.” (verse 8). “Can a woman forget her nursing child or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget yet I will not forget you.” (49:15)

Compare the constant disobedience of Judah in the Old Testament to the loving obedience of Jesus to his Father. It is the love of the Father revealed in and through the Son that shines forth in the ministry of Jesus. Yet the sin of disobedience and arrogance runs through the blood of the Jews. He has healed a man who was ill for 38 years and all that the Jews could see was a law broken and not the lawmaker (verse 24) the life-giver (verse 21), who stood before them.

If anything, the readings of today reveal our stubborn refusal to respond to the love of God in Christ Jesus. This is not just a loving God but a passionate lover, a devoted mother, a dedicated father, and a doting brother. Like the Jews, we want proof and signs of this love on demand and when it does not come the way we want it we have murderous thoughts. Remember that the line preceding our text of today tells us that the Jews did not just persecute Jesus (verse 16) but were seeking to kill him (verse 18)

Unmatched love was nailed to a cross driven by unmatched hate.

PS: A big thank you to Jerry who detected a malware on this site and brought it to my attention. It is now fixed. Thank you to all of you who leave your comments, thoughts and encouragement. It may take you ten minutes to read this but takes me much more to write it. Your kindness is much appreciated.

Spread the love ♥
Continue Reading