"Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?" -Genesis 3:8-9
We tend to envision a still God. One who sits on His throne and has taken up residence in a distant galaxy. A God who is completely contained in heaven. We think God would be content to enjoy heaven's greatness while surrounding angels praise Him constantly. Honestly, it's quite logical to think these things. Why would God even have to move? And, if He were to even walk anywhere, why would it be toward us?
God's pursuit of us. It's actually quite a scary thing. Nothing stops Him. Nothing turns Him away. Nothing will make Him give up. A passion for sinners consumes Him. He's relentless. His devotion to His creation cannot be taken away. He's crazy in love with all of us. And He will not tire. He will not rest. He will never stop looking for us until we are back in His arms where we belong. He's jealous for our hearts. He wants us. He doesn't need us. But clearly, He would rather die for us than live without us. But we've all turned away. We spit on the talents God gives us to glorify Him, as we use them to get more glory for us. We disobey His commands and we ignore the God who made us. Satan has lead us all away. He's captured us and imprisoned us inside this cage called sin. There's no way out. Or so we think.
Wait...yes! Here He comes! There He is, floating in Mary's womb! I see Him resting in the manger. Now He's working as a carpenter with his dad. Over there! He's teaching in the synagogue. Now He's walking on water! He just healed a man born blind. I just saw Him forgive an adulteress. There He is! I see Him playing with the children. I hear Him calling Lazarus out of the tomb! Now He's with His disciples. He's washing their feet?! I see Him in a garden. He's...so afraid. He's talking to His Father. Blood drips from His face (Luke 22:44). Wait...here comes Judas! And soldiers! They're coming to arrest Him. But...He didn't do anything wrong. Wait...they might let Him go free! No, they've chosen to free Barabbas instead. They're whipping Him! They're spitting on Him! Now they've crowned Him with thorns. Oh, the nails! The hammer! No! He's bleeding. He's in agony. He's dying. But wait...what's He saying? "Forgive them Father for they don't know what they are doing." And now what? He's talking to the criminal next to Him! The one who actually deserves death! "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." Now He's crying out to His Father! "My God, my God why did you abandon me?" And wait...He's saying something else! "It is finished." He's dead!
"God's nature does not trap Him in heaven, but leads Him to earth. In God's great gospel, He not only sends, he becomes; He not only looks down, He lives among; He not only talks to us, He lives with us as one of us." -Max Lucado
Father? Why are you so in love with us? What do you see? I know what I see. I see a sinful, broken world that wants nothing to do with you. There's anger, violence, and selfishness everywhere. We've all turned our backs on you. But yet, you're still after us. Nothing will ever separate us from your love (Romans 8:38-39). You see our sin clearer than we'll ever see it. But something in your nature causes you to look beyond the sin, and see the sinner. You see a world filled with hurt, confused, and wounded human beings who all need a Savior. You are not a God who stands still. You're a God of action; a God who moves. A mobile God.
"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." -John 1:14
Perhaps the fact that God moves isn't that surprising. But think about where God has traveled. He
took the plunge from heaven's throne to Mary's womb. He wrapped Himself in flesh and dove
headfirst into the thicket of humanity. He died the death we deserve and conquered the grave so we
don't have to stay there. What kind of God is so obsessed with people who could care less about Him? When I read the Bible, I see a reoccurring theme. Man runs away from God, and God runs toward man. Jonah disobeyed God and ran away from Him. God went after Jonah and never gave up on him. David committed adultery and murder. God loved him and forgave him. The Israelites, time and time again, turned away from their God and disobeyed His commands. God never abandoned them and was always ready to forgive them.
"But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God." -Nehemiah 9:31
But why? Why does God love us? Parent, why do you love your child? Because the child is yours? Yes, but even more, the child is you. Your blood, your eyes, your face, and your legacy. Your child not only belongs to you. Your child is a part of you. The love that a parent has for their child cannot even begin to compare with the love God has for us. We are all made in God's image. We are His idea. We are His masterpiece. We are His handiwork (Ephesians 2:10). He made us. We belonged to Him (1 Corinthians 10:26). We were His! But something happened. We turned away from our Creator. We turned toward created things to fill the void. His arms were wide open, ready to embrace anyone that would just come home! But we left. We told God life would be better without Him. And He let us leave. Most would expect that this is the end of the story. We forget God. We rebel against God. We turn away from God, and God turns away from us. But no, it didn't happen that way.
It's amazing that God even moves at all. What's even more amazing is where He moves. But the most amazing part about God's great plan is that He moves toward you and I. He's pursuing us. He
died to win our hearts. God spilt the blood of His only Son for our sake. Don't you see it? We are who He's after! God wants us in His kingdom. Apparently, He wants us to live with Him so badly that He
would rather kill His Son than enjoy heaven without His creation. That's some intense love! God is so amazing. It's incredible how He became a baby. It's crazy how our Creator literally lived with us as a
man. It's ridiculous how, before the creation of the world, God planned out His death (Ephesians 1:4-6). It's awesome how Christ hung on the cross in our place! God went through the pain of watching His Son die a horrific death. He was humble enough to become a newborn baby and surrender Himself to Mary's care. He was faithful and loving enough to die for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). But why did God go through all of this? It's the most confusing yet remarkable part of God's gospel! In fact, it's the whole reason there ever was a gospel. God did all of this, the traveling, the pursuing, and the dying, just for you. And according to Him, you were worth it! He wants you to remember that.
Have a great day!