A few evenings ago I finally caught up with the Call the Midwife Christmas Special while simultaneously catching up with my (huge) ironing pile. It was good: plenty of drama with an interesting storyline.
But what really caught my attention was Dr Turner’s reaction on learning that his only son Timothy was dangerously ill with polio. He burst through the hospital doors and tore up the ward – I got the impression he would have moved heaven and earth to get to his son if he had to.
That led me to pondering another father and only son…. Jesus is the beloved only Son of His Father. They have always delighted in each other’s company, they’ve never had an argument or fallen out, they love each other with a perfect love.
Yet when Jesus was bullied, beaten up, mocked and – in a massive miscarriage of justice – hung on a cross to die, a father’s natural instincts did not kick in. You would have expected the Father to race to Him, scoop Him up in His arms and rescue Him before destroying the enemies who’d put Him there. But that didn’t happen. Instead, the Father turned out the lights of the universe and turned His back on His beloved Son.
The reason was so that Jesus’ Dad could adopt you and me as His children, and Jesus’ death was the only way that that could happen.
The Father chose not to run and rescue His hurting Son so that He could rush to deliver us in our need. In Psalm 18, it says (in poetic language) that God virtually tears apart the universe in His hurry to rescue and comfort His hurting children.
I love that I have a perfect Dad in heaven who loves me this much and who planned to adopt me even before I was born!