Monday, March 14, 2005


About the Ninth Hour

World of Sven writes about the difficulty in accepting the doctrine of God’s wrath being taken out on His Son when Jesus was facing the crucifixion. How could a father do that to his son and if he did, why would we want to have anything to do with him? True enough if you picture an earthly father abusing and ultimately killing his offspring. Right away, we see a madman, the worst of criminals, someone to be hated, even if the son was a rotten, spoiled brat! I will argue that it was not the Son that was the object of God’s wrath, but Sin in the Son. Jesus felt the wrath and separation just the same. The issue might be, “Do we believe in God’s wrath?” Sven is seeking a verse which upholds God’s wrath on the Son. It doesn’t exist because God wasn’t mad at Jesus. He did direct punishment on Him. The fact that God would “do that” to His Son has come up in my journey before. Maybe this is why it strikes a nerve. A self-proclaimed believer once said, “Do you think God would pre-destine Jesus to suffer?” The Father did both plan and carry out this amazing Sacrifice. My answer then and still is, “We can’t begin to fathom God’s love for us.” Who can grasp it?
To carry out means God didn’t stop the horror. Watching The Passion (film) was intense for me because I kept crying out to God to “stop it!” There was such a release when the Father finally spoke in the turbulence of natural (supernatural, even) disasters. He finally had turned back on the earth, where His wrath belongs. The pain was watching the Innocent Lamb take what He didn’t deserve. Like seeing a child, or a “good person” suffering a dastardly cruel death.
We cannot understand God’s fury toward Sin in the Son any more than God asking Abraham to take a knife to Isaac. By God, Abraham trusted Him! …not to necessarily stop the killing either! Abraham trusted God with Isaac’s pending death…the knife was in the air! That time, God halted the sacrifice. But there is a clear demonstration here…God provided the lamb (ram). He would later provide another Lamb, they say on this same mountain range. God is always revealing more Truth for us to understand. It wasn’t all that loving a thing God asked of Abraham and Isaac, and it wasn’t exactly endearing to ask Jesus to go to the cross. God loved them, these willing servants, possibly more than He has loved at any other time, because of their brave obedience. This is the difference from the crazed dad we first envisioned. Unlike the poor, abused child, Jesus gets it and is a willing participant. Love abounding! But Love and Justice met on the cross…the most intense love and the most intense wrath came together in one place, at one time in History.
God is in conflict with Himself absolutely. His Holy existence cannot withstand sin and must separate from sinners. He is Love and wants us close in relationship with Him. This is sheer conflict and His solution, prophesied from Genesis 3:15 to Mt. Moriah with Abraham, through David, Daniel, and Isaiah, was the cross at Mt. Moriah. God hates sin—it keeps His children from Him. It is horrible to think He placed the consequences of that rage on Jesus until we begin to comprehend the consequences of His love for His creation, especially Jesus. (What was that?) This is a courtroom display of justice AND forgiveness. The confusion is in the relationship. God desires to relay Who He is and reveal this Truth on the cross. Since He is in conflict, the relationship is as well. Nonetheless, He is a God of relationship. He shows US—THIS is how much I hate sin. THIS is how much I love you. THIS is how I’m going to get my Creation back. We overlook the uncomfortable side of God and therefore miss the REVELATION!
“In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.” Hebrews 9:22
“About the ninth hour, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” Matthew 27:46
“Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!” Romans 5:9,10
“I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy because I am Holy.” Leviticus 11:44
“But when this Priest (Jesus) had offered for all time One Sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the Right hand of God.” Hebrews 10:12

To be continued...

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