When Jesus cries my cry on the cross, it is the most precious cry he ever makes. And he’s not playing.
The wonder is that the cosmic Christ has become anthropos, human. But more than that, sarx which is flesh. And then Paul says he becomes the very darkness we cover up:
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
And Jesus knows going into the passion that he will no longer sense the affection and love of his father, something he has always known from pre-incarnation, to forever. But he’s gotta go to where we are and we’re lost in our darkness and we can’t sense the love and the kindness and affection and the words and the grace of God.
Psalm 22 ends, “And he finished it.”
Half way through it says
For he did not despise or abhor
the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me,
but heard when I cried to him. (Psalm 22:24)
Jesus knows the whole Psalm. Even though he can’t sense the presence of the Father, even though he can’t feel the embrace because he’s lost in our darkness, he knows, not intellectually but relationally, the truth about his Father and he knows they don’t do abandonment; they don’t do forsaking. Therefore,
Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.’ Having said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23:46)
This thing is not going to take my spirit from me; I’m going to give it to you.
He would never have cried that out if he had not believed the Father was fully present in the embrace of the Spirit. Some of the oldest icons we have on the planet show the Spirit and the Father nailed to the cross behind Jesus. You want to know where God the Father was? Paul says,
in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. (2 Corinthians 5:19)
There is no abandonment here. Everything has got to start inside the circle of the Trinity.
The Trinity also destroys the secular spiritual divide, because all of creation is created inside of the Trinity and you can’t get out of it.
You know whatever you think hell is, it’s either a created thing or a non-created thing. If it’s non-created it’s God. If it’s non-created it means that when God shows up all your crap starts to reveal itself. If it’s created it can’t separate you from the love of God. And everyone gets salted with fire and fire has always been restorative in its intention.
There’s one word in the Greek for retributive, punitive anger and it’s never used of God. It’s only used of the way human beings relate to each other. All the other ones, they’re all about the potential for transformation and restoration. And every parent and grandparent knows this kind of love, the fiery fury that is opposed to anything that hurts the one that they care for. That originates not in us, that originates in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The work of the Holy Spirit is to teach you the truth of the Trinity and of your nature reflecting that relationship of love.
Love is unconditional; relationship is conditional by necessity. If one of your children says, “I don’t want to be your child anymore,” it doesn’t change their ontology and it doesn’t change whether you love them or not. That love is unconditional; but it does impact the relationship, because relationship is respectful of the other.
If there’s no “No” that matters, there’s no “Yes” that matters either. In order for your “Yes” to matter, your “No” has to matter. And this is a God who has a high view of humanity and will relate to you in a way that is respectful. To put it another way, God will not heal you apart from your participation. There is a work of what has been accomplished in Jesus that you have to participate in in order to get this stuff to the surface and healed.
Inside the circle of relationship that is the Trinity, all of our humanity matters. God does not become something that is not God. And God becomes fully human.
We need to change our view of who God is. God climbs onto our torture device and transforms it into a monument and an icon of grace. There is no darkness that you can bring to the table, no sorrow, no tragedy, no loss, no addiction, so deep that God will not climb into it with you and with your participation transform it into an icon and a monument of grace to the praise of his glorious name.