Probably one of the biggest questions people have about God is this: OK, the world is a mixture of good and evil, why doesn’t God just squash the evil and let the good flourish?
Yes… this is our Fearless question this week: “How can evil win over good?” Indulge me for a moment as I bring up a concept from the great man of faith Dietrich Bonhoeffer… ‘cheap grace’. His idea (and this is drastically simplifying it) was that there is a tremendous COST to following God and being on the side of ‘good’. His argument was that too many people thought it was OK to just pay lip service to God… and as long as everyone kept their noses clean, God would grant grace, goodness, and a victory of good over evil. In the reality of a world mixed with good and evil however, REAL sacrifice has to be made, REAL work has to be done daily, and REAL suffering (as a result of evil) must be endured.
As we turn our attention to the torture and death of Jesus (after he performed so many miracles, inspired so many lives, and promised so much love and truth and faith for the world) we are left asking that age-old question: “How can evil win over good?” And, we are left with the reality that evil is a powerful enemy. Even when good is supposed to win… even when good is destined to win.
As we approach the final Sunday in Lent (Palm/Passion Sunday) and look forward to Easter, I invite everyone to read this extended acount of how things went from good to bad Matthew 21-27 (yes… it is long but can be read in one sitting rather easily). Notice that Jesus continues to pursue God’s good, but increasingly, it stirs up the opposition, the evil, of others… the religious leaders, the Romans, his own friends, the crowds.
I will leave us with this question to ponder: if doing what is good and right causes the kind of injustice and opposition that Jesus faces (in Matthew 21-27)… does that mean evil wins, or just that the cost of doing good is high?
Think about it.