We turned our face. We despised him. We esteemed him stricken by God and afflicted. And it wasn’t the truth.

Even our translations struggle with these passages.

All we like sheep have gone astray;
   we have all turned to our own way,
and the Lord has laid (pä·gah’) on him
   the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)

That is not what is says in the Hebrew. The word is pä·gah’ which means to encounter. [nb: “in” or “on” not present in Hebrew but supplied by translator]

It was in Jesus that the Father and the Spirit were able to encounter our darkness in a way to destroy it. So what we have here is a God who climbs in. So when Jesus is going towards the cross and he begins to sweat blood, it is not because he is terrified by the torture device.

Who originated the cross? It wasn’t God. It is a torture device that aims to keep a human being in as much pain as long as possible and then forcibly extract their spirit, their breath from them.

But going into creation there was no way to create this high order of creation of human beings who would not say “No”.  And so Jesus is slain from the foundation of the world on what? On our cross. We brought the cross to the table; it is our darkness. It is the iconic symbol of a torture device where we put our fist into the face of Life himself and say “Damn you.” That is called “iniquity”.  And that “Damn you” was there from Adam.

Job says,

if I have concealed my transgressions as as Adam did,
   by hiding my iniquity in my bosom,
because I stood in great fear of the multitude… (Job 31:33,34)

“Don’t be like Adam who covered up the iniquity that was in his heart.”

Yes both Adam and Eve transgressed, she through violating and betrayal, he through choice. She was thoroughly deceived. Adam was never deceived. He walked into this with his eyes wide shut. Don’t be like Adam who hid the iniquity in his heart.

How does God destroy this iconic symbol of our devastation? He submits to it.

The incarnation is submission. This is a God who submits by nature because the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have been submitting one to another since forever. This is the way they are. It is not something they do, neither is love something they do. It is the way they are. It is their ontology. They cannot act apart from love.  We’re so broken that we know how. That’s the darkness that we’ve brought.

The only way for darkness to show up is for us to turn away from face to face to face relationship. And it casts a shadow. And then we build a reality from with that shadow that defines everything and everyone.

The call of the Gospel has always been return. The Gospel is not that you can receive Jesus into your life. The Gospel has always been that Jesus has received you into his life, into his anointing in the Holy Spirit, into his relationship with the Father.

My God my God why have you forsaken me in Psalm 22, whose cry is that? that is my cry. Because in my  darkness I couldn’t hear. I couldn’t sense the presence of God for years, even though there was a longing toward God.

 

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