• 86°

Jesus’ life was in peril from the time He uttered His first cry

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: I’ve always been inclined to believe in God, but the older I get and the more suffering I see makes me wonder if God really does care about what people have to go through. Does He really understand us? — L.G.
Dear L.G.: God did not exclude himself from human suffering. He became man — the Person of Christ. Philip Yancey wrote, “God does not, in the comfortable surroundings of heaven, turn a deaf ear to the sounds of suffering on this groaning planet.”
We’ve read stories, seen paintings, and sat through numerous Christmas pageants about the birth of Jesus, focusing on the sweetness of it all, but Jesus’ life was in peril from the time He uttered His first cry. The most illustrious child ever born was hated by many while He lay in a manger.
We don’t know much about His life as a child, but His entire life was one of humiliation; He came not as a conquering king but as a humble servant. When He was an adult, the leaders were suspicious of this carpenter from Nazareth, because He was a threat to them. They scorned Him and treated Him with contempt. They said He broke God’s law, that He was an unholy person — a drunkard and one who made friends with the scum of society. He had the label of guilt by association stamped upon Him by self-righteous men. At the beginning of His ministry, His own ‘townsfolk’ at Nazareth tried to throw Him off a cliff. Religious and political leaders often conspired to seize and kill Him.
He knew the path of pain He would experience; yet He went to the cross for mankind. Oh what love, mercy, and salvation; His grace toward all! No man has ever endured — or will endure — what Christ did voluntarily for us.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)