Thirty years ago I saw a movie that etched itself in my brain. Sophie with her ten-year-old little boy and her darling seven-year-old daughter is forced by a monster Nazi guard to choose which child will live and which will die. If she doesn’t choose both will die. Being the father of two small sons at the time I shuddered with horror at such a choice. What would I do? How could I live with myself either way?
Two thousand years ago God the Father in cooperation with His Son had to make a choice. Jesus had to die not a temporary death but an eternal death. The price for sin is eternal separation from God. If Jesus was to pay the price for sin then He had to do it with no hope of ever living again. In the Garden of Gethsemane the Father withdrew from Jesus and the hope of the resurrection Jesus had previously referred to was now gone with the Father’s presence. If Jesus did not do this we could not be saved. Together the Father and Jesus chose us to live while He died the death we deserve.
While on the cross according to Matthew’s account a horrid darkness settled over the cross. The Father was gone now. Jesus was alone and cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.” Jesus is at the doorway to hell and descending into eternal darkness. At any moment Jesus could have said, “It is too much” and billions of angels would have rushed to save Him. The Father could have said, “It is too much.” Our lives trembled in the balance. The choice was made – Jesus or us. They chose US.
Written by Roger Bothwell on September 3, 2014
Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574