What kind of God do you believe in? There are those who see him as the clockmaker who has created and wound up the universe and then left it to run while he goes on to other projects. Others see him as the absent-minded grand-dad, a nice old bloke who’s kind to everyone and just a bit forgetful about answering prayers sometimes, a god who shakes his head at the bad things in the world but doesn’t get around to doing much about it. Or perhaps you hold an opposite view – you see him as holy and unknowable, a being to fear and appease, a book-keeper god who keeps account of all wrongdoings and all good deeds and who will one day add up the balance.
Whatever concept of God we have, it’s wise to check our version with the evidence before us. Over the years God has gone to a great deal of trouble to tell us what he’s like, and by the time the Bible was finished he’d told us all we need to know and encouraged us to pay careful heed to it. “All the Bible is God’s word and profitable for teaching and correcting… that the people of God may be fully equipped” (2 Timothy 3:16).
If we want to understand what God is like, the best way to do it is to look carefully at Jesus, for Jesus is the ultimate way God used to reveal himself. It’s at Easter that we reflect on the two greatest aspects of the God who has revealed himself to us.
Good Friday reminds us of God’s great love for us: “God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him should not perish” (John 3:16). Jesus’ death demonstrated God’s love and dealt with our sin once and for all. But God’s love is only half the story. Easter Sunday reminds us of his power to rise from the dead and in doing so shows us “God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through his power” (1 Corinthians 6:14).
Whatever others think of God, we can be sure of his love and powerful provision for us. Such a reality ought to drive us to seek to serve him and know him all the more. Perhaps this Easter, as we see again what God has done for us, we might find new ways to show our love for him.