Strangely silent

You know how you can become so familiar with something that you fail to notice certain oddities?

Do you find it odd that the Bible is maddeningly taciturn on the birth, crucifixion, death and ascension of Christ? Yes, I know the Bible says that they happened, but not much of a description of how they happened is given:

  • But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. (Matthew 1:25)
  • While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. (Luke 1:6-7)
  • When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots (Matthew 27:35)
  • And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get. (Mark 15:24)
  • When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. (Luke 23:33)
  • Here they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle (John 19:18)
  • And when Jesus  had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit (Matthew 27:50)
  • With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. (Mark 15:37)
  • Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23:46)
  • When he received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30)
  • After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. (Mark 16:19)
  • While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. (Luke 24:51)

So why didn’t God in His providence move the writers of the gospels to include more detail for inquiring 21st century minds? Maybe because He knew that we humans have a tendency of focusing on lesser matters? If we focus so much on the physical suffering endured by Christ at the cross, for example, we may lose sight of why He went to the cross in the first place. Our pity and sympathy for Him distracts us from the fact that we’re sinners in need of a Saviour.

A similar argument could be made for trying to fill in the “missing years” of Christ’s earthly life. God didn’t put them in the Bible because as far as the story of man’s redemption from sin and Satan goes, they’re not fundamental.

Dear Lord, may I not go down rabbit-holes of peripheral issues, forgetting the main and plain things in Your Word.

HT: Paper pastor Alistair Begg.