Sunday, July 27, 2008

Was Jesus' Sacrifice a Sacrifice for Him? Part 2

Some great comments came from Part 1 of this question. See earlier entry here.

As you know, when a question is posted to you, there are a myriad of ways to take it. What assumptions are behind the question? What is the questioner really getting at? What does he or she want to know? This is one of the challenges of an apologist these days: questions are not always as they appear. We can often lose the questioner by taking their question so literally that we miss it's meaning or elaborating too long and lose the audience. Sometimes we can only guess and ask for follow-up...

Below is the response I gave to the original email to the question... feel free to comment...

On your question, it all depends on what he was sacrificing… it may not have been a big sacrifice if it was merely death, for he rose again from the dead. But one could argue that for the first and only time in reality, the Father had to turn his back on the Son while the Son took the sin of the world on his shoulders. If we understood the purity of Jesus and awefulness of sin, if we understood the deep love within the Trinity, it would be boggling to think that God would even consider such an act for puny human creatures.

And it seems from Scripture, the scars are permanent.

The second person of the Trinity who has always existed from before time now has scars? What are humans that God is willing to do such a thing? There is more to him than we realize. There is more to us than we realize.


Philip said...

Good answer. I have thought about this question since I saw it posted (I've been behind). I was thinking about it in a similar way you were. My first reaction was about how the Trinity was effected and changed. "My God, my God why have you forsaken me?" is really a moment where we see Father and Son being severed not in essence or being, but in support and relation.

I think if anyone would doubt Jesus' agony or difficulty with the cross should be pointed to Gethsemane. That is my favorite scene in the Passion of the Christ because it seems to really show Jesus struggling with a pain beyond the physical. To read that Jesus asked the Father to change the situation if at all possible is remarkable I think. I'm sure others have mentioned all of this, but its my take, which is a late arrival.

Dale Fincher said...

Thanks, Philip, for weighing in! Make sure you check out RW's comments at the end of the previous post on this topic.

I'm also reminded of George MacDonald's statement: The Son of God suffered unto death, not that we might not suffer, but that our suffering might be like his."

The complement of condescension...

(btw, we got your wedding invite... very excited for you!)