The BFG and the Gospel, Part 4: The Big Fragile God?
This series shares the content of the Wildkids Day Camp I'm leading for 5th/6th graders at our church this week.
God is often understood to be...
- Ancient and Enormous (un-relatable)
- Otherworldly (not usually around)
- Undetectable (only in our dreams?)
- Frightening (man-eating?)
- Confusing (uses big, strange words)
The Bible contains many stories about faith overcoming fear, confusion and many other obstacles to knowing God.
Today we are asking, "Is God the Big Fragile God?"
This week we have already seen how Jesus is not faraway, forgetful, or frightening. His disciples have seen his power over wind and waves, and the power of his words to make things happen. Today we read Luke 22:39-46 and see Jesus in a fragile state, praying in the Garden of Gethsemane before his arrest. His death on a cross is less than 24 hours away.
Jesus did not come into our world merely to put his power on display, but to give his power away. He came to offer his life for the sins of the world. He came to throw himself into the mouth of Death, so that we might be snatched away from Death's Giant jaws.
The BFG was often bullied by the man-eating larger giants. There was nothing he could do about this, or their threat to humanity, until Sophie came along with an idea.
Jesus, however, did not have to be bullied. He chose it for our sakes. Actually, to be precise, what Jesus chose was to do his Father's will. In the garden he prayed for another way, a plan B, the passing of this "bitter cup" from his lips. "Yet, not my will, but yours, be done."
The Son of God laid his fragile life down, an offering to his Heavenly Father.
With an angel strengthening him, Jesus continued praying in agony, his sweat like great drops of blood falling to the ground. His disciples? Asleep. Soon he would be arrested and condemned to death on the cross. This powerful wonder-worker, it seemed, was as fragile as the next man.
We have already seen little Sophie come to realize her captor is a Friendly Giant. He is not only friendly, but fragile - a victim of bullying. But she comes to see a deeper strength in him. The BFG possesses the self-control to resist the tasty temptation of "human beans." Instead, he survives on a nasty diet of snozzcumbers.
Jesus, being equal to God, has the power to squash his captors or call down angels to rescue him from the garden or the cross. He does not exercise his power in this way. Jesus shows the merciful, amazing power of God in his restraint. He would rather eat a snozzcumber than one of his human children. He would rather die than see us suffer the death which separates us from God.
Jesus is the Big Fragile God. By his fragility, we have been made whole. Praise the Lord.