A “time out” in the sports world is called to temporarily stop the game. This break in the action allows a coach time to communicate with his team in order to put together a strategy or perhaps to arouse the morale of his players.
Parents often use a method of discipline know as a “time out” in order to control an unruly child. After a predetermined amount of time spent standing in a corner or sitting in a certain spot and remaining completely idle, it is hoped that the child will take this time to settle down. When the “time out” is lifted, the child is expected to return to the activity at hand and behave in a proper manner.
Our God is a God of time outs also. The first of God’s recorded time outs is recorded in Genesis 2:1-2; Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested (took a time out) on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.
God called another time out in the case of Abraham and Isaac. In Genesis 22:1-12, it’s recorded that Abraham had taken his son Isaac to the land of Moriah to offer him as a sacrifice just as God has commanded him to do. It was only after Abraham built an altar, piled on the wood, bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar and raised a knife to kill him, that God called a “time out.”
Then there’s that one time God caused the earth to stop rotating on its axis and the world stood still for twenty four hours. You have to admit…that was quite a time out. Joshua 10:12-14
What if Jesus had called a “time out” while on the cross? Jesus Himself told us that He could have. In the garden, when the crowd came for Him and Peter drew his sword, Jesus told His disciples, “Do you think I cannot call on My Father, and He will put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53) A Roman legion was 6,000 men, so twelve legions would be 72,000 angels. Take note that Jesus said “more than twelve legions.”
So…… let’s say that Jesus endured the beatings with the reeds and fists, the whips that cut the flesh from His body, being spit on and mocked, the shame of being stripped naked in front of His mother and the crowd, then allowed the spikes to be driven through His wrists and feet….then let’s say that just before Jesus was about to breathe His last breath, He cried out in agony, “TIME OUT” “TIME OUT.” “Father, send those angels and get me down from this cross. I’ve done enough to show that I was willing to die for the sins of the world without having to actually do it.”
What would the outcome of such a scenario be for us had Jesus uttered the two words “Time out”? Think about it. There would have been no death by crucifixion. With no death, there would have been no resurrection and our faith would be meaningless. There would be no 2nd chapter of Acts written. Thus there would be no plan of salvation given, no gospel spoken of, and no church started. With no church in existence, you and I would never sing words of praise about the amazing grace and unchanging love of God.
Spend some time thinking about what your situation would be today if Jesus had uttered the words, “TIME OUT”. I did and I didn’t like my thoughts.
My thanks to Michael, a brother in Christ, who is my corrective grammarian.