“Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior.” — Isaiah 45:15
Our Creator hides himself from us. And that is counter-intuitive of what we hear from our religious authorities. They regularly picture God as exhausting himself in his efforts to show himself to us. But God hides. And he hides in plain sight. For where he is most visible, he is most hidden. Where fallen humanity seeks him, he is not found. And where he is found, he is not sought: In Jesus.
He was cloaked in flesh, walked among us… and we could not see him. In being most revealed, he was most concealed. Such is as true today as it was on the cross when Jesus revealed a dying God. The same God who entered into human history was killed by his own creation. We detest a hidden God — we want him as we would have him, else we will have him dead. He was hidden in a manger, hidden in death, hidden from the wisdom of this age. The place where he was showing himself — in Jesus — humanity found an enemy. The testimony of mankind, flowing out of the crucifixion of Jesus, is that we want to find God in some way other than how he has chosen to reveal himself.
We prefer to find God in answers to the “whys?” and “how comes?” of life. We want to find a God who explains our prosperity and makes sense of our suffering. When tragedy comes, we want answers from heaven. In this, we regularly retreat to the meaning of our circumstances to interpret and understand God. And in that, God retreats from us so that instead of finding him, we find a god we make in our own image, even as we call it “God” or “Jesus.”
God has revealed himself in the circumstances of a human life: the life of Jesus Christ. And that human has a Body on Earth, the Church — she explains him. God is pleased to be found by people who find him where he is revealed. He hides himself from the rest.