On Palm Sunday evening our church meditated on the life of Christ and the grace that it bring into our life. As we were discussing the death of Christ one of the brothers prayed, “We thank you that you are a meek God, not a weak God.” That got me to thinking about the perceived weakness of Christ. I have often heard that Christ was at his weakest during this period of torture and crucifixion. He appeared that way to be sure, but that evening I had an epiphany: It was in withholding His hand that Christ showed Himself to be powerful. If Christ had been weak, He would have not allowed Himself to be crucified. He himself says that His Father would instantly give Him “twelve legions of angels” to protect Him, if only He asked (Mt 26:53). But He continues: “But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” (Mt 26:54 – NIV) If He had been weak, He would have blasted the entire Roman empire and all of the Jews who were against Him out of existence before a spike or whip even touched his skin!
No, Christ is at his most powerful in the moment of His crucifixion. He does not curse those who crucify Him, He forgives them (Lk 23:34); He takes thought for those who are suffering this heinous death beside Him (Lk 23:43); He remembers His mother and places her care in the hands of one he trusts (Jn 19:26-27); and in the end He cries out in a loud voice before giving up His spirit (Mt 27:50). If that is not power, I do not know what power is. It takes more force of will to withhold your hand when you are suffering than it does to strike back; and Jesus Christ exemplifies this in His suffering. Truly our meek God is our powerful God as evidenced in the moment of what seems to be His greatest weakness.