The mem­o­rable mo­ments

The Catoosa County News - - SPIRITUAL -

climb out of the Linville Gorge af­ter los­ing the trail on the way out.

I have also squeezed my bot­tom lip with a pair of pli­ers while stand­ing on the top rails of a scis­sor lift 20-some­thing feet above the con­crete floor, been shocked more times than I can count (thus in­duc­ing me each time to do my geeky white boy un­happy dance) and got­ten stuck in a wet suit, which my wife had to res­cue me from (once she stopped her con­vul­sive laugh­ing, of course).

I have bro­ken my arm while skim-board­ing, had a heavy pane of glass fall across my head, and been dragged down the road be­hind a bike with a rope tied around my wrist af­ter fall­ing of off the skate­board I had been rid­ing. I have been cursed in the vilest of terms by peo­ple from mul­ti­ple coun­tries around the world over a news­pa­per col­umn in which I was deemed to be in­tol­er­ant (irony, that).

There is a point to all of this that I am re­count­ing. It has been the odd, painful, un­usual mo­ments in life that have turned out to be the most mem­o­rable. Hon­estly, I do not much re­mem­ber that fifth hik­ing trip. But the things that used to be ag­o­niz­ing, ter­ror­iz­ing and panic in­duc­ing have through the years be­come the great­est sources of laugh­ter, joy and com­fort.

It was and is the same for God. If there has ever been an event that would seem to cause noth­ing but agony and bad mem­o­ries it is the cru­ci­fix­ion of the Son of God. Isa­iah 53 gives a prophet­i­cal de­scrip­tion of Cal­vary, some 700 years be­fore it hap­pened.

It says “He is despised and re­jected of men; a man of sor­rows, and ac­quainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we es­teemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and car­ried our sor­rows: yet we did es­teem him stricken, smit­ten of God and af­flicted. But he was wounded for our trans­gres­sions, he was bruised for our in­iq­ui­ties: the chas­tise­ment of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

No one has ever en­dured a more ag­o­niz­ing, tor­tur­ous, bru­tal ex­pe­ri­ence than Je­sus did. And yet it was his agony that made pro­vi­sion for our sal­va­tion. Ro­mans 5:8 says “But God com­mendeth his love to­ward us, in that, while we were yet sin­ners, Christ died for us.”

Be­cause of this Isa­iah also said it “pleased the Fa­ther to bruise him.” Lit­er­ally, noth­ing made God any hap­pier than en­dur­ing agony and death for us.

I am quite cer­tain there will be a whole bunch of times in Heaven when God is look­ing across his king­dom at all of the re­deemed, and the Son looks over at the Fa­ther and says with a smile “Do you re­mem­ber that time when...”

Bo Wag­ner, who holds a doc­tor­ate in the­ol­ogy, is pas­tor of the Cor­ner­stone Bap­tist Church in Moores­boro, N.C., a widely trav­eled evan­ge­list, and au­thor of sev­eral books, in­clud­ing a kid’s fic­tion book about the Battle of Chicka­mauga, “Bro­ken Brotherhood.” He can be emailed at

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