Tragedy for His Glory
We sometimes wonder, “Can good ever come out of bad?”
The answer is yes; and to make my point, consider the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. What was more tragic than that?
However, we have to acknowledge that God allowed it. He not only allowed Satan’s rebellion, but He allowed Satan’s orchestration of Jesus’ death!
What could seem more tragic and inexplicable than when Jesus Christ was crucified? The disciples were devastated by it, having no idea how it could possibly bring good.
And yet, this greatest of tragedies turned into the greatest of victories. For it was not only Satan’s plan, it was the Father’s plan as well. It was one of the rare occurrences when both God and Satan desired the same thing (for different purposes, of course).
We know that it was the will of God for Jesus to die on the cross. Scripture tells us, “Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer” (Isaiah 53:10 NIV). This was because there was no other way for mankind to be saved.
Satan and God moved toward the same event
Satan wanted Jesus killed in order to humiliate Him and stop His powerful ministry. Blinded by his own rage and hatred for Christ, Satan unwittingly played into God’s plan when he inspired Judas to betray Jesus and got the religious leaders to push for death.
Even the fact that they wanted the Romans to execute Jesus was a fulfillment of God’s plan. Psalm 22 speaks of the Messiah being crucified, a Roman form of punishment.
God wanted the Son to die for the sin of the world and then rise from the dead.
Satan can serve God’s purposes
So, ironic as it may seem, even as Satan opposes God, he works for Him at the same time, accomplishing His divine purposes.
Did you know that even in our daily lives, Satan accomplishes God’s purposes? It is through the trials, temptations, and afflictions Satan sends us that we become stronger spiritually.
Trials are hard, but they produce good things. The Bible says, “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it is painful! But afterward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way” (Hebrews 12:11 NLT).
There’s a good quote in Randy Alcorn’s new book, If God Is Good:
If God brought eternal joy through the suffering of Jesus, can He bring eternal joy through my personal suffering, and yours? If Jesus endured His suffering through anticipating the reward of unending joy, can He empower you and me to do the same?
The answer to the problem of evil and suffering is not a philosophy, but a Person; not words, but the Word.
A grieving father once asked, “Where was God when my son died?” His friend answered, “The same place He was when His Son died!”
When we feel upset with God and tempted to blame him, we should look at the outstretched arms of Jesus and focus on His wounds, not ours.
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