You need a God that you can punch.
That’s perhaps the most impious, blasphemous thing I’ve ever written. Except it’s not. It’s true. In John 18:19-24 we read of this encounter:
19 The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” 24 Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
You see, a God that can’t be punched...a God whose lip can’t bleed...a God who can’t turn the other cheek is a God that can’t be whipped and scourged and crucified. And if your God can’t be beaten or killed then we all are in big trouble. A holy God demands holiness from His people. A holy God demands perfect prayer, perfect sacrifice, perfect keeping of the law. But we have sinned. We have broken God’s law. We have failed to seek Him perfectly. We need forgiveness. And as we’ve been saying in our series on Leviticus (listen to Week 1 & Week 2), “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin”.
So then. We need a God that we can punch. We need a God who will take the beating and the crucifixion and the death that we ourselves deserve. We need a God who will take our punishment for us. We need a God we can punch. Only Jesus, God-made-man, the only one who can fulfill the law perfectly on our behalf, only He can offer Himself up as the perfect sacrifice to make atonement for our sin. Only Jesus, the God that can be punched, can save us. And only this God, who bleeds and dies, can rise again to new life.
We need a God we can punch. And in Jesus, we have that God. A God who came to take the punches from those He longs to redeem.