I sometimes hear friends talk about God being angry at them for doing this or that or not doing this or that. Or the Holy Spirit being grieved by some infraction or attitude.
Frankly, I don’t think of God getting angry at me. I don’t think ANYTHING I do surprises Him at all. And why would He get mad when Jesus paid the price for my sins on the Cross?
Jesus bore the wrath.
But in one of today’s passages, Jesus gets mad:
Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And the [religious leaders] watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him. Mark 3: 1-2a, 3-6 (italics mine)
Jesus got angry at the religious leaders. They saw it in his eyes. So, what kind of person does Jesus get angry at?
- People who watch to see if they can find something to accuse God of.
- People who question God, yet refuse to be questioned by Him.
- People who look for ways to destroy God – or the trace of Him in their lives and world
That’s the sign of people who blame God for all that’s wrong in the world, refuse to acknowledge His authority, and deliberately turn from Him – treating Him as if He doesn’t exist.
Those traits are impossible in a Christian.
Christians understand that what’s wrong with the world is sin (and therefore people who sin), acknowledge God’s right to rule their lives, and turn towards Him – recognizing His death on their behalf.
So there’s a way in which God will never be angry at a believer – because the religious leaders found a way to destroy Jesus.
But little did they know that in destroying Him on the Cross, they would also destroy sin and death for the rest of us – that Jesus would then rise triumphant over the grave, having accomplished the work for which He was sent.
And that He would grant us new hearts that could never harden like the hearts of the religious leaders.
Dear Lord: Thank you that you will never be angry with me because you were angry at your Son. And by your grace, I do not have the hard heart of the religious leaders. I’m not even sure I disappoint you because you know me inside and out and nothing surprises you. Thank you that as a loving father you do discipline me. Please keep it up so that I become less and less like the religious leaders. Amen.