The following is an attempt to break into the subject of the relationship between pain and love. As such it may have proved to be insufficient and somewhat clumsy, and for that I apologise, but my hope is it may spark some thought about the subject.
Christ was a demonstration of God’s love in action, dealing with non-love, which is called sin.
Not the blood, not the flesh, not the sacrifice, but the LOVE was what cleanses us from darkness. The only freewill man has is to choose either to obey, comply with, God’s will; or to disobey, not comply with God’s will. And he has no real free will, since he is a slave [to sin] and has to obey sin who is his master – but if he sees that God has freed us in Christ, he may then have enough will to disobey the gospel. [or obey it]
God’s will is that a man accepts his liberation of love from his condition of non-love. But man has always rejected God’s love. In Christ on the cross man has the demonstration of what love does, that it confronts the activity of non-love and changes it or destroys it to comply with itself, himself, which/who is LOVE.
Christ was God in his love, HURTING as that which was not love was being confronted and converted into his own substance/matter, LOVE.
Christ on the cross removed no “death”, other than “his own” as a result of being participant in faulty human nature. OUR death is removed, changed, converted, AS WE ACCEPT HIS CLEANSING LOVE INTO OUR HEARTS.
When we recognise his love in dealing with “sin” or that which is NOT OF HIM, and we are willing (or better, more than eager) to allow his love to confront what we are and to allow that love to affect us at the core level of our being; then we allow the fact (by faith)(believing it to be true)(but also the reality ) of his love to forgive us and so to be changed by faith in that love/forgiveness.
When we see Christ hurting and we see that it is man’s sin that caused the hurt, that is responsible for ALL hurt and pain, and see that this is WHAT LOVE IS AND DOES in order to remedy the situation of non-love, then, having the true nature of what love IS, revealed to us, we recognise and respond according to our predisposition towards becoming “at one” with the nature of love, or NOT.
“God so loved the world THAT HE SENT HIS SON…” Jesus demonstrated righteousness towards us and we also demonstrated our unrighteousness towards him. In dealing with the unrighteousness (death) within his body (that we caused to be “faulty” from Adam), he showed how love overpowers sin and death. HE INVITES US INTO THIS SIN DESTROYING EMPOWERMENT that his love is. [that love is].
We voluntarily accept his love [the Holy Spirit] into our lives (hearts) in order THAT HE MIGHT DESTROY WHAT IS NOT OF HIMSELF – to change it, convert it, remove it. That we might become “partakers of the divine nature”.
WE ALLOW HIS NATURE TO CHANGE OUR OWN. And there may be some pain attached.
The confrontation of love with non-love causes pain. We can allow ourselves to “participate in his sufferings” now, or we will participate in sufferings at judgement and suffer the consequence of it resulting in eternal destruction. While we are alive and in the grace period we can allow his goodness to change us. In fact he only requires that we “get on board” in order to be “saved”, since by so doing we begin to participate in his life changing action which means we have given birth by his Spirit, by his word, to a new beginning that already bears the stamp of being his child.
This is why it is all about the HEART, not the mind. The mind will conceive of all manner of logical reason as to the why and how of the theology of the matter, and will come up with some form or way of rejecting the truth. It is the HEART that is at the root core of our nature and which needs to respond to HIS LOVE.
When we place faith in him we are trusting and accepting that this is the nature of love, and the nature of him.
In what way then has he dealt with (past tense) our “sin”? He dealt with it in Christ, who was one of us, who was a sample of humanity, to DEMONSTRATE what he as his love, does, that his love in action in Christ, and if allowed to be also in us, removes sin and death, although the physical death component still remains, the spiritual death that manifests in us through condemnation (self) is removed by “faith”, by believing it to be true.
God therefore is true and simply LOVES us. We have to respond to that love and accept that HIS LOVE IS WILLING AND CAPABLE OF REMOVING ALL SIN AS FAR AS EAST IS FROM WEST*. It was true in Christ, and it is also TRUE IN US IF WE ACCEPT HIS WORD THAT IT IS. [ If we are found in Christ, “all things are yours”.]
What we are doing is accepting the REALITY of what the OUTCOME of his love always is. [thereby testifying to his reality and his nature].
“One died for all, therefore all died”. The PRECURSOR to our eternal condemnation has been removed in Christ. He destroyed the sin mechanism within himself and rose from the grave. He was the first resurrection, in whom/which we participate if we allow his Spirit of life to enter us and bring life where there was formerly death. By faith.
God accepts himself (in Christ) as having purified all of mankind from the mechanism of death. But it is only by believing him that he is able and willing to do this; ie by accepting him because of his nature of love, that he can interact with us, bringing the reality of what he is, to the reality of what we are. And changing us.
If God has destroyed all sin in the body of Christ, and he has no interest in perpetuating or supporting the existence of sin in any part of his creation, then it is his love that both creates and destroys whatever substance (eg man) that either accepts or denies him.
Believing in God is believing that he is capable of destroying our sin, just as he destroyed “sin in Christ”. God saying that he has removed our sin as far as “East is from West”, is him asking us to trust him that his love has acted in such a way as to make available to us the reality of his word, by faith in his word, and faith in him, in his nature. [“God forgives”, but in reality this is what he does anyway, and he does it by the removal of sin, which he does by his Spirit which is righteousness.] By being “in Christ”. By believing that he, in the form of his love, did the necessary in demonstrating the removal of sin, and also the resurrection of OUR “resurrection vehicle”; Christ. Who is the Spirit. Of life.
He “bore our sin” by dying the death in HIS body, that we bear in OUR bodies. If God has so “taken” our death within himself in the person of his son, if he has born the hurt of sin and death in his own heart, then the one becomes the many, since sin is common to all men, and Christ encompassed and was involved in the nature of ALL possible sin, as it revealed itself in all the possible scenarios it could manifest in his body.
His condemnation of sin in the flesh was therefore the condemnation of the sin in all men’s flesh, which amounts to his will and good purpose in destroying all sin no matter where it is found. Since Pentecost demonstrated that life is a free gift to all men, this demonstrates God’s willingness to destroy sin in men’s lives by the gentleness of his Spirit,** rather than the ultimate destruction of those men BY the SPIRIT because of ultimate incompatibility WITH it.
The pain and hurt that was registered in God’s heart when the firstborn of all creation hung on the cross, is common about all men, and so is a once only occurrence. Since God in his son hurt to the maximum, it is done for all. Love hurts, has hurt.
The experience is duplicated in the lives of others who follow him, since the love nature will always be opposed, and the true nature of love will always register hurt as a result. It will always suffer. Such can be seen in the writings of Paul and others who have followed Christ. Many a love struck person can testify to the hurt and pain of love when smooth sailing is not the only experience of such earthly relationships. The heavenly experience is of course more serious and based on a more permanent level. He condemns sin in order to uncondemn [free] the sinner. In Christ he separates sin from sinner.
The simplistic and biblical approach is that salvation is achieved “by faith in his blood”.
*God does not retain men’s sin, they do it themselves. God just loves. ** The Spirit as is mediated through Christ.
The relationship between pain and love is to be further explored.