Archive for October, 2011

October 19, 2011

Street Talk: Neutralizing Violence

October 19, 2011

Take This Cup – by Karyn B. Alexander

The words, “Father take this cup!”

This is the famous line from the Garden of Gethsemane; a man is asking his Father in heaven to take his burden and to spare his life from impending death.

God did not take his cup away.

The man died. He not only died, but he died a horrific death. His body was spit upon, beaten, and then hung on a wooden cross. He was a religious criminal. Guilty, they said, and “crucify him,” they shouted, Why didn’t God take the cup and save the man?

It seems to be one of the most widely asked questions even today. “Why did God allow …this thing in my life? Why doesn’t God intervene? Why doesn’t He take my cup?” I know you have asked this same question. I have, many, many times. And many times, God has not taken my cup, while other times He intervenes.

When something we consider bad or fearful happens, we immediately call out to God the Father to take our cup. We know that a loving God wants the best for us, so surely He cannot mean this impending nightmare to fully descend on us. We hear of accidents, death of the young, sickness that decays, and we always assume it is for someone else. It’s universal to think, “That will never happen to me or my loved ones.” But it does.

If you live long enough, you know that death, illness, accidents, and pain happen. We assume God loves us and can, at any moment, send a fleet of angels, impart divine inspiration, cure illness and raise the dead; He can take the cup.

So, why would He choose not to help solve our problems?

The answer lies in the providence of God. He sees all and knows all, so He only intervenes when it falls in line with His providence, or grand design. Meaning, there is a plan that may not look like our plan. The plan for the man who was accused of blasphemy was brutal in its end, but God had the bigger picture in mind. We all know the bigger picture is stated in the scriptures where it says, “Unless a kernel of wheat die and fall to the ground, it cannot live again.”

So it was for the man on the cross:  He must die to give life.

It is brilliant in concept.

We see it in nature. It is seen in the fields and flowers as they dry and crumble to become seed for new plants. We see human death making way for the next generation. Spiritually speaking, we can plant spiritual seedlings, but they cannot grow unless there is death; death of our sin and own personal will. Jesus of Nazareth was the man on the cross who provided the spiritual seed to die and live again. He claimed to be God in the flesh, and was crucified for saying so. Rising from the dead.  Crazy trick, but only possible if you are “The” real God.