THE TRAUMA OF THE CROSS [307a]

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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