Last night I had the chance to go see Batman vs. Superman. I am not going to review the film but wanted to consider a thought conveyed through an interaction between one of the heroes & one of the villains. (No spoiler alert needed here.) Basically the villain goes on a rant & the the thesis of his rant is: “God cannot be simultaneously all good and all all powerful.” The argument he makes is that if God is all powerful then he cannot be all good because of all the evil we see in the world, inferring He must be at fault for the evil, therefore He must not be all good. If He is all good then He must NOT all powerful because of his allowance of the evil.
I will not get into all of the theological wrangling that the thesis poses. It so happens that the movie released on Easter weekend. Due to some of the content and thought, even some of the imagery I’m reasonably sure that was intentional. So, I want to just ask you to consider the goodness and power of God through the filter of what happened on the three days we refer to as “Easter”.
First, Let’s consider this question: “Is God good, all good?” We could answer this by observing the goodness we see in Jesus’ life:
- allowed an adulteress go without condemnation
- DIDN’T kick Peter to the curb after his ‘three-peat’ denial, rather gave him the three-fold chance to acknowledge His love.
- He healed multitudes.
- He invited weary burdened people to come to him & find rest.
- He offered to point the way to ANY who were lost.
- Etc., etc.
Now answer these question about the last hours of His life:
- If God were not good would he have according to John 3:16 give His one & only son?
- If He is not good toward us would he have allowed Himself to go through that suffering we KNOW historically happened on Good Friday?
- If he were not good would he have offered forgiveness to those perpetrating an unjustified execution against himself while the torture was going on?
- Would he have invited a convicted thief who had acknowledged his own guilt to join in him paradise?
- Would he have chosen to be ridiculed, suffer & die if there were not some all encompassing benefit to someone?
For MOST of us, if someone took suffering FOR us, we would, at the very least, consider them a “good man” if not a “GREAT friend”. JESUS WAS & IS BOTH. He is good to us, to die for us to make a way for us out of our lostness.
After considering the goodness question. Let’s ask the second question: “Is God powerful, all powerful?” We could go to all the miraculous things He did as He walked on the earth:
- Walking on water
- Healing diseases
- Raising other dead people
- Water to wine
- Feeding 5,000 people with 5 loaves & two fish
- Etc., etc.
But the real answer to the question is found on Easter Sunday Morning. We all have to face death. We all have to bow to death. But Jesus faces death & defeats it with finality. The tomb is empty. You can go see it. Paul would say in these words in 1 Corinthians 15:
3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. 5 He was seen by Peter* and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers* at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. 1 Corinthians 15:3–8 (NLT)
How can we be sure that He is all powerful and actually resurrected? The effect this event had on the lives of people over the long term. Peter grows a spine no more denial. 500 people see Him all at the same time, without special effects & digital photography. Paul gives up His life of status, notoriety and riches, to suffer, to work hard. Most of those depicted in that brief piece of scripture were & willing & did die for the person of Christ. Meaning they believed He had the power to conquer death. Death & the fear of it no longer held sway over their hearts, mind & lives. Jesus conquered it!
The Bible calls death the final enemy, or the one you fight after you’ve taken on all the other amateurs. Death used to be the champ, but now someone else holds the belt. We can walk through life without the shadows of guilt, shame & death because Jesus literally “kicked their butts”. Consider Hebrews 12:
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.* Because of the joy* awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Hebrews 12:2 (NLT)
You only get to sit down after you win. Then there is celebration!
- So Is God good? ABSOLUTELY!
- Is God All powerful? EMPHATICALLY YES!
How should this affect you? You should be sure he is good & that He cares for you. You should be secure in knowing that because of Him all power from our universal enemy is destroyed!
What Now? Turn to Him, Trust Him. Walk With Him. His goodness & His power is extended to you to change your life, your hope & your future!