THE TRAUMA OF THE CROSS [307]

This could equally have been titled, “How to get into theological hot water”, or some might say “Theological fiction”. This post follows the previous title “Jesus’ Divinity” and is an elaboration on the same theme.

It has to be fair to say that on the cross Jesus was estranged from his Father and suffered all that was due mankind for being what they were/are. This includes “hell”.

This is what separation from God does, and it is the sin state that does the separating.

The fundamental way Jesus took the penalty for sin was in dying, because death is said to be sin’s penalty. But we know that there is a penalty beyond this, called “hell”.  So “death” is not the penalty for sin, ETERNAL death is. (however we may choose to describe that).

Now we have to be aware that Jesus said a Christian would never SEE death. He is referring to the spiritual death which is interwoven with the punishment* due to a man’s sin. Certainly all men will die. (Showing how we have to be aware that literally believers do die) (sleep).

Jesus didn’t just bear death as being what equalised man’s sin debt to death. He wore and did bear the full penalty of all sin and all possible sin. How could this be if he did not have access to man’s sinful condition, seeing how people say he was perfect?

Did somehow God give all sin to him? Was it the accumulated sin of all? Did he have access to spiritual information concerning this, or did he perhaps simply go by what he had learned of man during his stay on earth?

NO, he knew sin because “He knew what was in man”. And the reason he knew it was because the same thing was inside him as well, he having been made like us.

What was all the trauma, what was the acuteness of his suffering, what was he bearing and how and what did it achieve?

He was in conflict with those components of his humanity that were the problem in man, whether actively or latently. He was aware of separation from his Father. His spiritual condition of purity or “perfection” was under attack from his flesh.

This was the conflict that lay in man. (See Romans chapter 7). Paul’s will was not only under attack, it was in subjection to his flesh.

This was more than just temptation, because he (Jesus) had undergone temptation all his life without failing. This was the pain and agony that comes from separation from God. In other words, it was EXACTLY the condition of man who is estranged from God and wallowing in the sin condition with all its fear and guilt and condemnation. It was Darkness. It was hell.

So how do we describe this scenario? There was a war going on inside him. His righteousness was in conflict with the flesh which was not righteous. His love was confronting the un-love that was in the flesh. Somehow, love was in conflict with anti-love, and something had to “give”.

This scenario is the same as any of the descriptions in the bible where there is conflict, where right meets wrong. Moses had to hide in the rock because to confront God would result in his death. Our God is a consuming fire. The Spirit is the fire that God applies to sin to deal with it, to remove it change it or destroy it. Love and Spirit and God are the same.

Armageddon is also a similar description, the last great battle where the fire of the Spirit will both liberate believers and condemn (burn) unbelievers. This will be hell also. During their lives, starting with rebirth, believers are confronted with the Spirit, and sin in the flesh is the victim. “Do not be surprised at the fiery trial that comes upon you to prove you”. This is a mini-version of Armageddon and hell. Believers submit to the cleansing of the Spirit before the end when it would otherwise destroy them.

This then, is what Jesus is experiencing on the cross, though we saw it start in the garden. None of this would be possible without him directly confronting and dealing with, sin in the flesh. HIS FLESH.

The result is that the latent sin condition in man (in him) is burnt away, is converted into life, is healed, is “fixed”. Only then is he worthy of immortality, only then is he perfected. Only then can (could) He be resurrected.

“We will all be changed in the twinkling of an eye”.  This is when the Spirit is [forceably] brought to bear, when the creation is immersed in Him, and believers are converted to immortals. Others will suffer because the sin condition is still with them. Because they do not contain LIFE. Believers who have not produced much of a result in their lives “will suffer loss”, though “they themselves will be saved”. (“as escaping through the flames”).

So Jesus suffered the torture of hell and death, with all the attendant guilt, fear, anguish, suffering, Armageddon, whatever.

All of this IS OUR FORGIVENESS. All is forgiven, love has suffered it all for us, so we can leave it behind and live anew with Him. Live with love.

The lamb has conquered – The lamb has overcome. We are to be found “IN” Him.

*[strictly speaking, not punishment, but the RESULT of sin][love confronts and removes sin][love suffers]

[it is finished]

{special note for Christadelphians}{ it is finished means it is finished. the whole point of what God has been trying to explain, is that complete reliance on Him who is love is what is required, that the very nature of his love is such that no sin can stand, that his forgiveness, like him and his love, is eternal, never changing. That his love is so absolute and complete that there is nothing you can do to earn his approval, because that approval is freely given, because of the love exhibited and given through his son Jesus. To try and go through any perceived process to arrive at that love, is to deny that he has already completed the necessary process, is to deny him, is to deny his son, is to deny His love and eternal life. By doing so you are denying yourself.}

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4 thoughts on “THE TRAUMA OF THE CROSS [307]

  1. Christadelphians follow the Bible, where is told the grace of salvation is given to all for free. ?But that does not mean that by the forgiveniss of sins all niw just can sin however they like, thieving, fornicating, killing, without having to fear not being able to enter the Kingdom of God. The Bible is clear, faith without works is death (James) and Cjrist gave enough parables where he gave warnings how people can loose the entrance to the Kindom of God. Those who are preaching that people have nothong to do any more (no conversion, no baptism, no praying, no being honest and just) are telling lies and misleading people. Funny though that most preachers who tel such falsehoods are also preachers who frighten people with the other false teaching of an eternal burning in hell, wich is acontradiction with their other teaching.

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    • Hi Marcus, thanks for your comment. There is not a lot to immediately disagree with you there, a bit of fine tuning perhaps; there is obviously more to it than you have stated, but on the face of it a fair enough comment! Thank you.

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      • Cristadelphians, opposite many denominations do not require people to become a member of their church, what many do who claim no works are necessary. Though, Becoming a member of a church is a work.

        According to us the first and most important work to be done is to feel sorry of previous wrongdoing and to regret it. Plus asking forgiveness for the faults or wrongdoings. The next work according us is to accept Jesus Christ as the sent one from God and to believe in that son of man to be the son of God who gave his life for all mankind, whatever their believ or non believe may be – so not only for Christians. The other important task people have to do is trying to live according the commandements of God. Contrary to the teaching of those who say people have not to worry any more or have nothing to do for it, to your teaching it looks as well, we believe that without following God’s commandements people, even when belonging to the Christadelphians or any other Christian denomination, shall not be able to enter the Kingdom of God.

        I compare it to a present people may receive but do nothing with it. I may give you a limousine ir Rolls rRoyce, but when you do not use the keys to open it, to start the moter you shall be not much with it. Also when you do not push your foot on the gaspedal you shall no come far with it. It is the same with the Free Gift of God. All people reveived salvation by the ransom offering by Christ, but if they do nothing with it they shall not come far … and certainly not in God’s Kingdom.

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  2. Hi Marcus, again, thanks for the comment. We are never going to agree, but I will try to offer some thoughts. Trying to stick to basics, in general terms you seem to be concerned about keeping commandments. This I equate to the Mosaic law, which was given to teach men about sin, until Jesus came to teach about salvation from sin, not by keeping commandments but by being born again of the Spirit, born of the seed of God, and transferred by faith into his kingdom. Commandments were meant to show up sin and death, with perhaps some other instruction “commandment” being to enlighten and consolidate, confirm, the way of life. Knowledge of sin through commandment brings death. The law which brought men to death was abolished as men now took on new life. Paul called law the ministry of death. Paul said law was made for bad men not for good. Etc. Galatians is plain that we are not under a set of “laws” because now we have the life of God with us, and are partakers of the divine nature. It is this divine nature (love) that is the “goal of this command”. The Spirit was not given so that the law could be kept. The Spirit was given so men might have life and be guided by that life. There is a great gulf between mortal man and regenerated man. Rules and regulations cannot bring about the necessary change of heart that God requires, since he requires that we take his very own nature, by assimilation of His life force, so that we act out of HIS nature, the nature of love. Love does no harm to its neighbour, so love is the fulfillment of the law. If we are operating by commandments and rules then we are still in death. The one who does not love is in death. Love is the aim the goal and the everything that God gives to us so we can be like him, not by learning about him do we become like him [we know him by the forgiveness of our sin]. Love is revealed by the cross. Acceptance of this gives us rebirth. Then we leave the world of rules commandments and regulations, which are only meant to govern the flesh. The flesh cannot be controlled in this way. It has to be terminated by accepting that HE terminated it FOR us. Then we don’t have to “learn” our way into the kingdom. we are TRANSFERRED into the kingdom on the basis of our acceptance of his sacrificial love for us. You see, when you teach that it is necessary to keep the commandments, you keep men ensnared in the condemnation of sin. We are neither saved by keeping commandments, nor are we maintained in the life by keeping commandments. This is the fundamental basic principle of the faith. Those who are operating from God’s nature are not going to knowingly or unknowingly go against the nature that delivered those commandments in the first place. If you are operating from love you are operating from God’s heart, and nothing more can be asked of you. What he DOES ask of you is that you believe sufficiently in his love, to believe that his love took your sin away in Jesus. This is what people find to be difficult if they want to continue to define sin by commandment instead of by the love that released us from that sin.

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