Sunday, April 12, 2009

Resurrection

The great Irenaeus said that our ‘beloved Lord Jesus Christ became what we are that he might bring us to be what he is in himself.’ Athanasius said much the same, ‘the Son of God became son of man to make us sons of God.’ For both of these early Church theologians the incarnation was a staggering fact, which shouted to the world that the Father, Son and Spirit wanted real relationship with us, fellowship, communion, shared life. As Karl Barth said, God has no intention of being God without us. The gift given to us is Jesus himself, and all that he is and has with his Father and the Holy Spirit—adoption. As astonishing as it is, the eternal purpose of the Triune God was to give the human race a real place and share in the very Trinitarian life itself.

But how do you reach the human race in its terrible blindness and wrongheaded resistance and rebellion? How do you include people who want nothing of you, and indeed want you dead? And what good is the incarnation if Jesus does not penetrate Adam’s fall? Such would not be a real incarnation, and neither Jesus nor his life would actually reach us in our brokenness.

In the shocking love of the Triune God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit deliberately embraced us in our sin and darkness, willfully submitting themselves to our bizarre anger and judgment. The incarnation proclaims that the Triune God is passionate about sharing the Trinitarian life itself with us, and nothing less. The submission of Jesus, and in him the Father and the Holy Spirit, to our brutality, rejection and murder shouts a determined, astonishing love larger than the cosmos. And the resurrection declares that he did it, that in Jesus, and in his suffering from our hands the Trinitarian life itself has set up shop inside death and darkness and evil forever. Dying in the arms of our scorn, the Father’s Son made contact with Adam, recreating relationship with him and all his wayward sons and daughters from inside the fall—resurrection.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit forgive us for the way we have twisted your amazing, determined love, and tried to force your passion and character into our blind legalities. Father, forgive us for what we have thought of you. Jesus, forgive us for the way we have denied your oneness with your Father. And Holy Spirit forgive us for minimizing your constant witness to the truth.

Thank you Jesus that though we rejected you, you did not reject us, but embraced us in our foul blindness, bowing to our rage that you might reach the real us—and bring your Father and the Holy Spirit with you. Hallelujah. Blessed be the Holy Trinity.

7 comments:

Boyd Allen said...

Amen!!!

I like this line:
"In the shocking love of the Triune God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit deliberately embraced us in our sin and darkness, willfully submitting themselves to our bizarre anger and judgment."

Captain Bedlam said...

Manna or a two by four, or maybe a little of both.

Cheers Mate!

Anonymous said...

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs,
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

-William Cowper

Bobbit said...

Dear Baxter,

I would like to ask you an honest question and hope that you and your readers will address my question without any spiritually abusive name calling, like, "Oh, you're blind, unlike us", or "you're into legalism yada yada." See, when I read how you liken the Trinity, I feel like I'm being handed life in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. And to be honest, you make it sound so amazing. The thing I am having trouble reconciling, and I'm asking for your help, is Why did the Trinity "break out against"/ killing Jews who tried to approach Them with say, strange fire or by touching the Mercy seat of God. I'm getting (at least I think I am) your point on interpreting the Triune God from Jesus, Paul and John, but how do I reconcile the Jewish history regarding this God whom Jesus the Jew is a member and whom Paul the Jew wrote? Why did the Triune God insist that They be treated by the Jews as Holy, or die? And despite the undeniable fact that the dying of Jesus was the most amazing act of Love ever displayed on the earth in history, why did They keep the Jews under this ordained law for so long and kill them so mercilessly just for not worshiping Them rightly? The Jewish record, if true alongside your way of thinking makes Them seem so Bipolar. Can you help me to reconcile this history so that I may with integrity enter the "Chocolate Factory?"

Sincerely,
Bobbit

C. Baxter Kruger, Ph.D. said...

Bobbit,
Thanks for your questions and your honesty. You are quite right to point out the apparent discrepencies. It is a real issue, and a proper answer requires a much longer discussion, which I will offer soon. I think I have dealt with these questions in some of my series and/or essays, but can't remember which ones. So if anyone remembers let me/us know. It is scary when you have been b-sin' so long you can't remember the what, wheres, and whyfores of your own orations.

But keep wrestling with this Bobbit, the way forward does get clearer.

Blessings,
Baxter

Boyd Allen said...

I have a friend (pastor) who was debating with me about this subject of a God who has reconciled the world to himself (even when the bible says so) and other usual arguments we have been facing here. He even said that God killing these people was "Gods' nature". I told him that it was not God's nature, but man's and God is only using mans nature against himself. God did test Moses by his suggestion that he kill all of the people of Israel and put Moses up as the new nation, but that was not because it was "God's nature" to be a killer. I am looking forward to your future response to what Bobbit asked.

Anonymous said...

Yes,

There can be a deep debate about the nature and character of God. I have a friend whom I went on a short missions trip with in Mexico who later told me how she was pinned down and raped on a college campus. The painful sucker punch is that a large portion of Jesus's beautiful bride whom He loves jealousy would tell her that God was in control of the rapist and had something to teach her out of it. That makes me fiercely angry. Yet, I'd best not beat His bride. I can and have given my friend a more open perspective about her rape. Because God is good. Nevertheless, there's still stuff in the word I can't sharpie pen away. Like the confusion I have over God's own declarations while He's snuffing people out saying "I will be regarded as HOLY by those who approach me." You know, or still, why the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom the day of the Kings pulverization. I can't be the only one who wants the whole word to be reconciled. It seems like we are so prone to swinging from one extreme to another. I don't want that. I want the whole truth. Don't yet have it, but am not quitting the search. May God keep me/us all honest and nice as we search. May He reveal the motives of our hearts to ourselves behind our leanings on anything. Getting on anyones bandwagon scares me. Or joining a club just because I'm mad a Pat Buchannon scares me. Chucking revelations about God scares me. Thank God that in my search, Jesus is shade and rest and cool water and protection from so many fears.

Bobbit