What it takes for Christ to convince us that he is trustworthy depends upon the lies we have been told by The Deceiver. We are very much like the abducted child, whom the kidnappers keeps telling, “Your parents don’t want you. They don’t love you. They’re ashamed of you. They won’t let you come back home.” That’s one set of lies.
Elaborating on that, are the ancient lies: God is angry with you, he’s just waiting to find you doing something wrong so he can punish you. You’re dirty, God can never love you. What you’ve done is unforgivable.
To answer those accusations, God offers what theologians call “the Christ Event.” That term encapsulates Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection, and continued intercession for us. Jesus told us that he came to show us the Father. We no longer have to ask, “What is God really like?”
For us, who live in this sin-filled world, God had to demonstrate that he was trustworthy, that he was not angry at us, that he was not looking for an opportunity to condemn us. On the contrary, as a contemporary Christian song says, “God loves people more than anything… More than anything, he wants them to know/he’d rather die than let them go.”
In Christ we know exactly what God is really like. He is just in his dealings with humanity, he is gracious and eager to heal to save, and he has held nothing back in his attempt to restore trust.
The “Christ event” demonstrates that in an unmistakable fashion. God loved us so much he was willing to become one of us, to become a helpless infant in his mother’s arms, to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, to live for decades among cruel and depraved people, and at the end, to dive for those same people, who were his enemies — as the apostle Paul reminds us — while praying to his father for the very ones who were torturing him to death on the cross.
There was no other way. If there had been, surely He would’ve found it. But the witness of Christ to his Father’s real nature, as exemplified in his life, death, and ministry leaves no doubt about God’s true attitude towards humanity. It is one of unfathomable love.
But that only takes care of one of the three audiences who must be convinced about God’s character before “every knee will bow, and every tongue confess,” that God is just.
Next we deal with “the sons of God,” as mentioned in Job. They are not part of this world’s sinful mess. Jesus did not have to die to save them from their sins. But he died for them all the same.