God has given up power in order to express His love. Love always requires the giving up of power and in Philippians 2 we read about how God in Christ gave up power in order to express His love, which was ultimately expressed in the cross. Jesus, who is God, could have exercised power and come down from the cross, but He didn’t do it. Love drove Him to become vulnerable on Calvary’s tree. He could have assumed power when Satan tempted Him and offered Him all the kingdoms of the world, but Jesus chose to save the world, not through the exercise of power, but through the exercise of His love.
In order to make us into free people—and only free people can love—He withdrew His power. We have a God who deliberately limited Himself, as it says in Philippians 2. Those of us who read that scripture do not realize that we should take it on face value. God did empty Himself of power, as the scripture says, when He came in Jesus Christ. This means that when an earthquake takes place in Haiti, we shouldn’t be saying, “Why didn’t God use His power to stop that from happening?” The answer is obvious—He has limited Himself in the use of power in order to make room for free people who could, in freedom, choose to love Him and to love one another.
Without freedom, there is no love and God chose love over power for Him/Herself and for all of us.
- Tony Campolo, "Choose Love Not Power," March 10, 2011, Red-Letter Christians Blog
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