Monday, March 01, 2004

Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?...

Josh Claybourn has a post on The Passion and, in particular, the phrase, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Briefly, his take is:
Rather, Jesus was fully human, separated from the trinity and experiencing pain alone, abandoned. At some point we all cry out "Why God?" The answers will not always come when we want them, we may still hurt, we may still thirst. But Christ was also alone, and He too cried out. We are not alone. God understands.
I disagree. Jesus was not separate from the trinity. He was God Incarnate - God fully human, yet fully God. The fact that He lowered Himself does not mean that He gave up His attributes as God. Greg Koukl at Stand to Reason talked about this aspect on his February 1st show (about 1:05 into the file). He likened the confusion to what he refers to as "pastor-isms" - sayings that typically come from pastors that are used primarily to make a point. For example, with reference to Jesus crying out to God from the cross, the pastor-ism would be: "This is where God turns His back on Jesus." Why? Well... Jesus becomes sin, therefore:- "God cannot look on sin, therefore He must turn His back." But where does that leave us when we examine the doctrine? If Jesus was separated from the Trinity then He would cease to have the very attributes that make Him who He is. There would have been, as Koukl says, "a split in the being of God." But that is impermissible because Jesus' nature, His essence would have been removed from Him. Either One God would have become Two Gods or Jesus' nature would have ceased to exist. Rather, look at Psalm 22 and note that it is God who is pouring out His wrath on the sin that Jesus is judicially taking upon Himself.

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