"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23 NAB)
A question often raised by those who have wandered away or have lost their faith is – How can a “loving God” allow so much pain and suffering in the world, i.e., the atrocities of war, starvation, disease, abortion . . .?
The answer is simple yet difficult for most to accept because the counter argument for these skeptics goes something like this – “If God is all powerful He could put an end to it at any time!”
Let’s address the two questions:
First of all, pain, human misery, and suffering all began with the original sin of Adam and Eve, whose free will God respected. Think of the following analogy: God is the perfect parent who knows what’s best for His children, i.e., His will for us! As human parents we strive to lead our children in certain directions in an attempt to ensure that they have the best life possible, but in many cases they reject these attempts because they believe their way is better! Most of us know what happens when we do not follow our parents’ advice!
As human history continued man’s continuing rejection of God’s will eventually led to more and more misery and suffering up to the present day.
Secondly, although He has the power to end it all immediately, God cannot! By doing so He would in effect be saying, Go ahead, behave anyway you like without consequences.
Like any parent, God our Heavenly Father hates to see His children suffer! But again, God will not interfere with our free will to love or reject Him. Human parents have very little, or sometimes no control over their children once they have reached adulthood! Remember, without the free choice to love someone, true love cannot exist, and God wants us to choose to love Him freely!
Through the passion, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, God has provided the means by which death, sin and suffering is defeated. Most Christians believe that this will only occur when Christ returns, but if you think about it, although man will continue to sin because of his nature, much of the death and suffering we now experience in this world could be eliminated if we only followed what Jesus taught us!
In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus is asked by a Pharisee (a scholar of the law), "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" Jesus responded, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments." (Matt 22:34-40 NAB)
In conclusion, most who have seen Mel Gibson’s movie, Passion of the Christ, I’m sure would agree that Christ painfully suffered immense physical torture. What the film does not accurately portray however, is what must have amounted to the greatest source of Christ’s suffering, and that is the visions he must have had, and the knowledge he possessed of the suffering and atrocities humankind would endure due to their rejection of God’s will which Jesus came to reveal.
Throughout history, man has an spent an inordinate amount of time, energy, and resources devising ways to inflict death and suffering upon one another. If only it had been spent caring for and loving one another!
The following video is graphic and only one example of the many things Christ must have visualized during his passion. It’s no wonder he sweat blood in the Garden of Gethsemane! PLEASE! Let us repent and pray that all will turn to Christ so that the suffering depicted in this video and all such human suffering will not be repeated!