God meets us where we are. That is amazing if you can see it. Jesus came to the earth as a man. Yes he lived a sinless life and was a perfect example of a humbled, surrendered Son of God. But think about this: We, mankind, were afraid of God because of our sin and shame. Jesus was like a secret agent on a mission. He emptied Himself to humble himself and demonstrate a God/Son or a man/Holy Spirit relationship but it also allowed Him the opportunity to interact with us on our level. People didn’t realize He was God among them. Even the apostles at their last meal didn’t know fully. God became Immanuel so we wouldn’t be afraid. These were the same Israelites that were terrified of a one-on-one and told Moses “you do it. You talk to God for us.” He became one of us so we could know who God was and not run for hiding. God became man and we did nothing. God did all the work for us and towards us. He looked like us for us. He became the very thing we needed, and took on the nature of what we needed. If you didn’t know, if you didn’t have a revelation, you would think that God was something that He had become for us. You would see the “disguise” not the secret agent. Clark Kent not superman. You get the idea.
Now fast forward to the cross. Jesus became sin. Jesus was not sin or could not sin and never sinned but he became our sin. He became what we needed. If you didn’t know, if you didn’t have a revelation you would think that Jesus was a sinner. The evidence is there. He died a criminal’s death. The religious said He was a heretic and blasphemous. If you were a Jew at the time and did not have a revelation of Jesus wouldn’t you believe the religious leaders? The evidence presented by the religious leaders, no matter how wrong, would lead you to a wrong conclusion about Jesus. Only the Holy Spirit could clear that up for you like He did with Peter.
How about the horrific beating Jesus endured. We can lump that into necessary punishment for sin, justice, and a bunch of other legal based theories. But check this out. Do you know how much the enemy has distorted and mutated this experience we call reality? Do you have any idea how much sin and shame and guilt and condemnation have horrifically altered God’s created intent? God knows. Jesus was beaten beyond recognition. He became what we needed to see. We see a tortured and mutilated man hanging on a tree. That is us. Apart from the finished work of Jesus we are that cursed and deformed man. Jesus becomes the image of a fallen Adam to give us what we need, a righteous Jesus. Can you see someone standing at the cross and looking at Jesus and not having a revelation, not knowing what is going on? They would see the naked brutality of a fallen mankind. You can say that they would feel sorry for such brutality but I doubt it. This was normal for this time. I bet they would say “that guy must have done something really bad to get beaten that way.” The devil has been saying that to us from the beginning. Jesus became something He wasn’t for us to be reconciled.
How about curses and blessings. Jesus did not warrant or deserve any form of curse but became a curse for us. Do you see that if you did not have a revelation of who Jesus was you would see a cursed man deserving a curse. Jesus became what we needed so we could receive who He was. Are you getting the concept?
Now go back to king Saul and the Amalekites. Samuel told Saul that God said to destroy the Amalekites. I have heard a number of teachings about this story. One interesting teaching is that these people were like the Nephilim who were offspring of humans and fallen angels. True or not, justification for annihilation or not it doesn’t point to Jesus. In this case God became what the people needed. They needed a powerful warrior God like the “other gods” of the nations. God also became the scapegoat for the nation of Israel. They could say “our God told us to do it.” Just like Jesus who became sin but was not a sinner, God became vengeance when He wasn’t vengeful. Why? To protect Israel in a hostile world until the right time for Jesus. To protect the line of Jesus. In preparation for all mankind to receive Jesus.
I believe God’s desire is to find is where we are. His unmerited favor, His unconditional Grace, His abounding love and mercy is His nature. He loves us so much that He becomes what we need in the time we need Him. Jesus is the exact representation of God. If Jesus can become our sin so we can become His righteousness then God can appear brutal when His nature is love. How good is our God? How far He will go? I don’t think we will ever know all He has done but we can know who He is in the love of Jesus.