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We now have one more reason to reject Christianity. Jesus’ father sent Him to the earth to be tortured and sacrificed. This is clearly child abuse. What kind of father would do this? The God of Christianity is cruel. Perhaps psychotic. He is a leftover from an era when cruelty was the norm of the day, unlike today.

This is a relatively new argument, I think, to reject Christianity. So, if you’re a Christian, how should you answer this criticism biblically? We must remember that reasoning logically with an unbeliever is not enough. The Holy Spirit alone makes the truth of God real to the human heart. But be encouraged. As far as objections go, this one is easy to refute from Scripture.

First of all, God the Father did not order or force Jesus to be tortured and sacrificed. Jesus Himself made this decision.

“Because of this the Father loves me, because I lay down my life so that I may take possession of it again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down voluntarily. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take possession of it again. This commandment I received from my Father” (John 10:17–18).1

Jesus laid down his life because He wanted to. Jesus Himself said this.

Secondly, child abuse assumes the reality that one with greater strength, usually a parent, overpowers the one who possesses little strength, the child. However, Jesus was and is God Himself.

“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was, I am!’ Then they picked up stones in order to throw them at him. But Jesus was hidden and went out of the temple courts” (John 8:58–59).

When Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I am” the Jewish religious leaders wanted to stone Him. Why? By proclaiming He was “I am,” He was claiming to be the God who spoke to Moses from the burning bush in the wilderness. Jesus was referring to this incident:

But Moses said to God, “Look, if I go to the Israelites and I say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is his name?’ then what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “I am that I am.” And he said, “So you must say to the Israelites, ‘I am sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:13-14).

Thus, there was no superior strength overpowering one with lesser strength. The Father didn’t “make” Jesus to anything. God cannot overpower Himself and make Himself do something He does not want to do. That makes no sense whatsoever.

Third, God the Father and Jesus, being one, are in perfect union and agreement with each other.

“So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise’” (John 5:19).

If those three points don’t convince the critic, nothing will.

For Christians, the amazing thing in all of this, is to realize that Jesus, God in the flesh, has always been the Suffering Servant and the Lamb of God. We do not know anything about the how of this. It is simply who Jesus is. However, we should look that truth square in the eye and realize that God Himself has in His the nature that of a submissive servant. Take that in for a moment. King of kings? Yes. Creator of all that exists? Yes. The God who knows everything and can do anything? Yes.

And Servant.

However, too often, we Christians are too much like the world and do not care for the idea of being submissive in a biblical way. To the human mind that is weak and being weak is awful. The majority of the people who knew about Jesus’ crucifixion on that dark and blessed day considered it an act of pathetic and mock-worthy weakness. However, as Michael Card sang years ago in the song El Shaddai:

“God’s most awesome work was done through the frailty of His Son.”

Amen.

1All Scripture quotations are from The Lexham English Bible. Lexham Press. Harris, W. H., III, Ritzema, E., Brannan, R., Mangum, D., Dunham, J., Reimer, J. A., & Wierenga, M., eds. (2012).

Gif courtesy Giphy.

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