Why does a loving God allow suffering? I looked at one aspect of the question on an earlier post, “How can a loving God allow suffering?” which looked at one element of the question, namely, people don’t understand the character of God’s holiness and the offense of sin against holiness, which results in personal and corporate suffering. This article will focus on another aspect, which is God allows suffering to draw attention to the suffering of what He directed by sending Jesus to die on the cross because of sin.
God did not have to remedy sin. God could have let mankind, that is, Adam and Eve, wander outside of the garden until their sin natures overtook all their decisions and the human race destroyed itself. You see the start of that when Cain killed Abel. They were just the first of two children, and apart from God’s grace, all would have destroyed each other.
However, if God allowed that, then He would not have an opportunity to manifest His love. In God’s loving plan, His grace in action and His mercy were expressed to all who would choose to accept the gift of salvation. Therefore, the love of God motivated the justice of God to resolve the problem of sin and the only possible solution was if God Himself, would become equal with man to serve as a Mediator and pay the requirement of the penalty.
The Mediator had to be equal with God and equal with man. That is why Jesus left the glory of heaven and relinquished the use of His divine deity (Phil. 2:7), of which He could have restored control of at any point, but He entrusted Himself to the empowerment and control of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1,14,18) under the Father’s plan (Luke 22:42). Jesus was the Mediator between God and man as the Lamb of God (John 1:29). Paul wrote,
5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, (1 Tim. 2:5-6 NKJ)
Because Jesus served as the Mediator between God and man, you and I have the opportunity to accept the gift of salvation and begin an eternal relationship with Him. Because Jesus served as our Mediator, we can have hope through suffering that there is a reason and there is an end to it all. Because Jesus went to the cross, one day all suffering will be done and there will be no more sorrow and no more tears (Rev. 21:4).
Yet, here’s the real question that should be asked instead: “Why did God allow Jesus to suffer?” Jesus was completely innocent. He never sinned (1 John 3:5). Jesus never offended anyone, except the self-righteous crowd who were the ones in sin, not Jesus (Matt. 13:57). There is absolutely no connection between Jesus and sin. It was impossible to place any punishment on Jesus for sin, which is why the justice of God had to make Jesus to be sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21), so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. It was the only solution to resolve the holiness of God’s issue with sin.
So what do you say when you hear the question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Respond back with, “Why did God allow Jesus to suffer for sin?” You can help them with the answer, because often they will not be able to answer the question, “God made Jesus suffering to help people take their eyes off themselves and put their eyes on Jesus, our Lord and Savior.” (Is. 53:10) Praise be to His name!