Apr14FriApril 14, 2017
By Don Liesemer
Barcelona, July 1992. During the 400 meter semi-final race at the Barcelona Olympics sitting in the top row of the stadium, Jim Redmond saw his son writhing in pain on the track. He jumped from his seat, bounded down rows of steps, leaped a 4 ½ foot wall, blew by guards and ran to his son’s side. Nothing was going to stop him from going to the aid of his son. Derek Redmond, the British runner, had been a race favorite but tearing his hamstring early in the race left him with one lone hope-cross the finish line. Waving off security officials, arm in arm the young sprinter and his burly father limped their way to the goal. Untold millions around the globe and 65000 fans in the stadium were deeply touched by the awesome display of a father’s love for his son.
Jerusalem, 33 AD. Another time; another city; another contest- good versus evil; another prize-streets of gold not medals of gold; another crowd-that jeered not cheered; another set of officials who falsely accused and condemned; another security team who offered no protection but rather stripped, mocked, spit, hit, scourged and finally nailed the Champion to a cross.
The Son: fully submitted to the Father’s will….watched in silence as many of his loved ones ran away…remained strong during the trials… withstood the merciless beatings…was badly injured but kept going toward the finish line.
The Father: would He come to the rescue? His beloved champion was bruised and bleeding on the track. The radiance of His glory hung on a cross. The joy of His life was dying. His beloved had nails driven through His hands and feet. Would He swing into action? Would He release His army of angels to free His Son? How He longed to step in. He dearly loved His Son for whom He had opened the heavens three times and loudly declared His love for Jesus.
But this time the heavens were silent. The Father stayed in his seat and turned His back on His Son. He left Him alone to die a vicious, shameful, agonizing, death. And when Jesus could bear no more, He cried out in a loud voice: “My God, My God, Why hast Thou Forsaken Me?” In the darkest hours of the history of the world Jesus’ own Father turned away.
Why? Because you and I were struggling on the track in the race of life- with no way of reaching the finish line- without God’s help. We were lost, helpless, hopeless, and separated from God. This was a prearranged plan. God knowing our dilemma chose not to rescue His Son so that He could rescue us and carry all who receive His Son as Savior safely across the finish line and home to be with Him in heaven. Love for you and I tied His hands. The Son had to die. Sin had to be punished. God laid on Jesus our sin which He carried in His body on the cross. (1 Peter 2:24) He took the blows we deserved. There was no other way to satisfy the Holy Father’s demands.
What a love story!! The Father and Son love each other and us. Jesus gave His life because He loves us. The Father gave His Son because He loves us. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Today, receive God’s forgiveness and invite the Savior into your heart to help you along the track of life and welcome you home to heaven when you reach the end of your race.