Friday, Dec. 16
There’s one more problem, one that I’m hesitant to get into. I haven’t found a commentary that covers it, so know I’m skating on thin ice. Jesus’ physical suffering on the cross should not be ignored or minimized, but there was spiritual suffering, too, which is probably more important. During Jesus’ ministry he often said that his time had not yet come, meaning that the end of his life was still ahead, and that the cross was still ahead of him. The crucial moment would come on the cross. I mentioned one problem at the front end of this blog. Actually, there are several related issues. Let me raise a few questions, questions that are hard to answer. Can God experience sin and can He experience sin without sinning? How is it that Jesus could die for all mankind—rather than just one person? Was physical death a part of the penalty for sin? Could Jesus have redeemed mankind without dying? At what point was the payment for sin actually completed? OK, while you’re wrestling with those questions, here is my main question. It has to do with how three can be one, which I know I can’t answer. Early theologians agreed that the godhead is made up of three persons in one nature. I agree with this even though I don’t fully understand it. Now—the cross. There had to be a moment when the holy God (the Father) had to judge the sin of the human race carried by Christ. I believe that to be the source of the abandonment that Jesus experienced. I think it happened just before he died physically. Is it possible that at this one time in all of eternity that there was a break in that unity part of the godhead? Was there spiritual separation between the Father and the Son? This also raises a few other questions. Can there be trinity without unity—or unity without trinity? Can one member of the godhead cease to be a member of it—even for a moment? How does the Holy Spirit fit into this? I don’t have answers and maybe I don’t need to have any. But there’s one absolute certainty: Jesus paid the full price for my sin, and I’m eternally grateful.