When I wrote the first blog I planned on doing 3 or 4 to get us through the Covid crisis. This blog is number 123. Who’d have thought it? I decided to have a go at making a video and they’ve become a regular part of our church work. Who’d have thought it? I don’t mind doing videos because I had media training when I was working, alongside a number of headteachers. I was a lowly deputy at the time, the quietest person present, but it turns out I was the star pupil that day. To my surprise, and everyone else’s, I turned out to be a natural at speaking in sound bites. Who’d have thought it? It paid off because I’ve twice had to appear on regional news programmes. Someone who works in a coffee shop recognised me on TV and gave me a free coffee. Who’d have thought it? You will have noticed I keep using the phrase, ‘Who’d have thought it?’. I’ve done it deliberately of course because it’s something that’s often said. Things often confuse, bemuse and amaze us. If you’re a Strictly fan, who’d have thought that Bill Bailey would win? If you watch the Masked Singer/Dancer, who’d have thought that anyone would watch such a weird programme, let alone be amazed by who are the performers? Who’d have thought that Donald Trump would become President of the USA? Who’d have thought that the U.K. would come last on Eurovision? OK, perhaps we could all have guessed that one. At least we’ve learned a little French, we know what ‘nil points’ means.

 

Things happen in life that we can’t get our heads around, like Covid and its worldwide impact, or the incredible change that social media has brought about. There are times when no one knows what is happening or how it happened, except God of course. There is nothing hidden from God, nothing that he knows nothing about. We use a fancy word to describe one of his many attributes; we say he is Omniscient. Omni means all and scient means knowledge; it’s where the word science comes from. God is all knowing. He knows exactly what is happening in the world, why it’s happening, how long it will continue and when it will end. His knowledge is complete, and from his vantage point where he exists outside space and time, he is able to tell us in advance what is going to happen, what we call prophecy. He does this because he has planned it to happen this way. For instance, God knew and told us that the mother of Jesus would be a virgin. Written about 700 years before it happened we read this, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (1) Immanuel means God with us so this is God’s way of telling us that his son was coming into the world. Mary lived in a village called Nazareth but she and Joseph travelled to Bethlehem where Jesus was born. God knew he would be born there because he planned it that way. We read again, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” (2) God also knew that Herod would want to kill Jesus when he heard about him, and that Mary and Joseph would take him to Egypt where they lived as refugees for a time. This time we read, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” (3)

 

God also knew that Jesus would die a terrible death and he told us about that too, on more than one occasion. Here are some examples: “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (4) “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?” (5) “I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.” (6) Knowing all that would happen to him God sent his son into the world knowing he would die on a cross. Why? Because the God who knows everything, who never has to say ‘who would have thought it?’, knew that the only way we could be freed from the punishment our sins deserve is for Jesus to take that punishment instead. Jesus knew it would happen too, but out of love for us he chose to die. We can be saved from our sins punishment any eternal consequences if we trust in Jesus. Who would have thought it?

 

Bible References:

  • Isaiah 7:14
  • Micah 5:2
  • Hosea 11:1
  • Isaiah 53:4,5
  • Psalm 22:1
  • Isaiah 50:6