Jesus was hanging on the cross; the religious leaders were mocking Him as He died a tortuous death. It couldn’t get any better for Satan. With God’s Son dead, Satan’s problems were over! But wait! Jesus died and was resurrected! Suddenly Satan realized that he was a defeated, wounded enemy destined for eternal destruction. Had Satan known that a resurrection and ascension were ahead, he would have done all in his power to keep Jesus alive. How God brought good out of evil baffled Satan.
Fast forward to the last century. Could there possibly be a more vivid example of evil than Adolph Hitler and his effort to exterminate the Jews? Yet, God was able to bring good from Hitler’s horrific evil. Because of the world’s reaction to this horror, the nation of Israel was reborn after not existing for almost 2,000 years. Once again, the Jews had the permanent homeland God had promised their forefathers thousands of years before.
But, as described in the first paragraph, the most powerful example of good coming from evil is still the story of the cross. Each one of us, because of our sinful nature, is responsible for murdering the innocent Son of God. This was truly the most evil act in all history. Yet, God took our evil and turned it into the greatest act of good. He did this by offering us salvation and forgiveness of sin. He used this great evil to offer us a relationship, a oneness, and a reconciliation with Himself.
The cross gives us hope that no matter what evil we have done, or what evil others have done to us, God has the ability to turn evil into good and to accomplish His intended purposes.