The Incarnate Embrace of Human Suffering: Redemptive Thoughts from a Good Doctor


At Wesley Biblical Seminary, Dr. John Oswalt was both my Old Testament professor and my discipleship leader.  He now serves again at Asbury Theological Seminary.  Here are some redemptive thoughts from Dr. Oswalt via my friend Scott Engebretson [shared on Facebook]…

Oswalt“a good word this morning from my ph.d. mentor, Dr. John Oswalt, on Newtown:

” ‘Reading the headlines this morning made me want to resign from the human race, just to disassociate myself from all the messy viciousness that seems to mark our path. I thought it was especially tragic when we are supposed to be celebrating all this peace and joy stuff at Christmas. But then it struck me – Jesus did the very opposite of what I was fancifully contemplating. He didn’t resign from the human race – he voluntarily joined it! He left the perfection of heaven to become a part of this messy viciousness. And he did it with his eyes wide open – he knew what he was getting into and he knew what we would do to him, and he joined up anyway. The messiness was right from the start. Anybody who has been in a delivery room knows that births are not serenely pretty, they are hard, painful, and bloody, and every baby ever born has come into the world screaming his or her head off for just having been forced through a ring of fire to come into this mess. And there are no clean barns: the hay was itchy and scratchy and the “gentle cattle” were covered with manure. And in the end, we don’t know how, but we know it is so, crunched into about three hours he carried for us all the hell, all the grief, all the horror of this viciously messy world. He didn’t resign – he joined up. That’s good news.’ “

About Adam Godbold

husband, father, pastor, and more View all posts by Adam Godbold

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