Did God kill Jesus? Part four

Father_forgive_themIf God didn’t kill Jesus to placate His wrath, who did kill Him?

This is the final installment of my series that asks the faithful question, “Did God kill Jesus?” Last time we jettisoned the wooden literal take on Isaiah 53:10 for the following three reasons: it’s hermeneutically unsound; it ignores that a biblical literary device was employed (compression); it doesn’t take into account variations in translation sources. We’ve also seen in this series that justice is NOT served by executing an innocent so the guilty can be called righteous. This violates principles taught throughout Scripture.

Now we’re ready to look at the real perpetrators of this unjust execution. Again, I will refer to and borrow from my series, “Saving Easter” to save space and time.

If not God, then who?

Let me start with what I said in “Saving Easter-Part four.” Scripture is actually pretty straightforward about assessing the blame for Jesus unjust execution. First, Jesus Himself said that He would be betrayed into the hands of men (Matt.17:22-23), specifically, His own Jewish leaders who would hand Him over to the Gentiles (Matt.20:18-19). Furthermore, Peter laid the blame on the Jews (Acts 2:22-23, 36). But we also know that even Peter himself denied Jesus three times and the rest of Jesus’ disciples fled. Since Jews and Gentiles are pretty much everybody, we all killed Jesus.

This is why Jesus said to His Father, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:24). The “them” and “they” are us. What we should have no trouble understanding is that Jesus is asking the Father to forgive US for killing Him!

What was God doing then?

While it’s not the focus in this series, we need to briefly look at where God was and what He was actually doing when Christ was crucified. The Bible is very clear about this(bold type added):

that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them…” (2 Cor.5:19a NKJV)

I want you to notice two things here. First, God was IN Christ at the cross. He didn’t turn away or abandon His beloved Son for one split second, nor was He punishing Him. What was He doing then? He was reconciling US.

Reconciliation is the Greek word katallassō. It essentially means to bring into harmony. This is the only appropriate way we can use the word, atonement (at-one-ment), by the way.

Let’s get the roles straight here.

WE were the ones with the angry murderous hearts. We were the ones with the enmity (Rom.8:7; Eph.2:14-16). We were God’s children full of wrath, enemies in our minds (Rom.5:10; Eph.2:3; Col.1:21), separated from the Father’s love and life (John 17:3).

The Father—BECAUSE OF HIS GREAT LOVE—was IN His incarnate Son, allowing all our iniquities to be fused with the Divine Nature so we could be healed and brought back into perfect union with Him as Christ is in perfect union with Him (bold type added):

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. (Eph.2:4-6 NLT)

Think about this. When the leper and the woman with an issue of blood came into contact with Jesus, they were healed. This is an apt picture of the atonement.

As I mentioned in part one, Isaiah 53 was divinely interpreted by Matthew, not as punishment to placate an angry God, but as HEALING and DELIVERENCE because of a loving God (Matt.8:16-17).  Jesus Himself described His crucifixion the following way (bold type added):

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,  that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:14-17 NKJV)

Of course, Jesus was alluding to an incident in Numbers 21 when the people were being bitten by serpents because of their own disobedience. Here’s what God told Moses to do:

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived. (Num.21:8-9 NKJV)

From Jesus own description of the purpose of the cross, we can clearly see it wasn’t about punishment but to heal us from our own foolishness!

The idea that God had to punish Jesus so we could be saved would’ve been totally foreign to the early church fathers. As I’ve shown before, this idea of retributive justice was a sixteenth-century innovation of Calvin, taking Anselm’s eleventh-century invention to a whole new level.

Why did I open up this theological can of worms?

Among all the atonement theories that the church has contemplated (there have been many), PSA is possibly the most damaging to our relationship with our heavenly Father. I’m convinced that part of the problem we have with understanding our relationship with God as a son or daughter is because we’ve been taught that Jesus stands between us and an angry Father. Is this love?  Is this the good news that brings great joy or great fear?

Beloved, this is not a story about an angry, wrathful God who won’t be appeased unless He kills His Son. This is a story about the rich mercy and great love of a Father and His faithful Son. It’s a story about their glorious rescue mission to bring about the GREATEST FAMILY REUNION of the ages! It’s the story of the reconciliation and restoration of the object of God’s deepest affection—you and me.

 

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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 36 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
This entry was posted in Doctrine, Father Heart of God, Theology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Did God kill Jesus? Part four

  1. Lance says:

    Yes yes yes! Thank you Mel for a bold declaration of the truth. Now since you’ve let it out, given birth so to speak, isn’t it beautiful? Isn’t it simple? Don’t you wonder how we all missed it? I do. Once I got over the “family embarrassment” as Baxter describes it, I felt like I had awakened from a coma. The light is bright and brilliant. The colors are vivid and rich. The smells are complex and exciting. The sounds are symphonic and intricate. My heart is warmed and alive like never before. “God is good” isn’t a cliche for Sunday morning but a declaration from the mountaintops with a megaphone that can be heard in every nook and cranny of this beautiful planet. No doubt why all those “Jesus freaks” we used to meet on the street had such goofy grins on their faces. They already knew what we have just fallen into. Yay God! Bless you Mel! You’re not alone.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Ha ha. Yes, it feels good to come out the Matrix.
      Morpheus: What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with what you were told. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I’m talking about?
      Neo: PSA
      Morpheus: Yes! PSA is everywhere. It’s all around us…it’s the atonement that’s been pulled over our eyes to blind us from the truth…
      Neo: What truth?
      Morpheus: That you don’t have an angry deity that wants to dangle you like a spider over a flame, a Father who hates you but tolerates you because He killed His Son in your place. No, you have a loving Father who came to rescue you because of His great love! You’re not a slave, Neo. You’re His beloved son…. 🙂

      Thanks for your encouraging comments, Lance. We’re never alone are we. Yes, YAY GOD! Blessings.

  2. Jonah says:

    I know Kung fu!!

    • Jonah says:

      Better yet, I think you blasted a God’s Love EMP and got the last of those pesky sentinels. I can’t seem to find any objections and even my best efforts are rendered motionless in the presence of His healing, delivering, all-consuming love and grace.

    • Mel Wild says:

      🙂
      Morpheus: You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind.

      NEO = “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor.5:17)

      (Speaking to the fearmongering demons that have caused God’s beloved to hide from His love…1 John 4:18)
      I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid… you’re afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. I’m going to hang up this phone, and then I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world without you. A world without your fear-based rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Neo: What are you trying to tell me? That I can dodge bullets?
      Morpheus: No, Neo. I’m trying to tell you that when you’re ready, you won’t have to.

  3. Cindy Powell says:

    “This a story about the rich mercy and great love of the Father and His faithful Son. It’s a story about their glorious rescue mission to bring about the GREATEST FAMILY REUNION of the ages!” Amen! That is one family reunion I am so incredibly grateful to be part of. Such a beautiful picture of such a beautiful God. Yay for LIFE outside the matrix 🙂

  4. I love your rewrite of the Matrix (big fan of the movie, by the way.)

    The other part that really grabbed my attention was the scene on the busy city street. Lady in red comes bouncing by, Neo is all eyes. Morpheus speaks, distracting him. When Neo turns back to check her out again, is instead met with a gun aimed at him instead. Best visual of temptation ever!

    What a fantastic journey Abba set my feet upon. I finished Kruger’s book. The same day, Cosmos Reborn arrived. Fun theology indeed! While I had the wrong perspective of God, I’ve always enjoyed digging into my Bible to ‘find Jesus’ – especially in the OT stories.

    Thanks for the red pill. Life will *never* be the same; and thanks for letting me post your work this week. I want to spread the truth as far and wide as possible. There’s no better way than through the Internet. 🙂

    Blessings to you and yours,
    \o/

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yeah, that scene is a great analogy of temptations distractions and dangers.
      Appreciate your re-blogs. I will explore other aspects of this Rabbit Hole at another time.

      Love your testimony, Tami. It’s so good to finally come alive in the Father’s embrace. 🙂
      Blessings.

  5. Reblogged this on Lessons by Heart and commented:
    ” Yes, it feels good to come out the Matrix.

    Morpheus: What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with what you were told. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I’m talking about?

    Neo: PSA

    Morpheus: Yes! PSA is everywhere. It’s all around us…it’s the atonement that’s been pulled over our eyes to blind us from the truth…

    Neo: What truth?

    Morpheus: That you don’t have an angry deity that wants to dangle you like a spider over a flame, a Father who hates you but tolerates you because He killed His Son in your place. No, you have a loving Father who came to rescue you because of His great love! You’re not a slave, Neo. You’re His beloved son…. :)”

    Feeling ‘born again’ – again! Whooee, we are loved by a Father who is pleased with us…right here, right now!

    Enjoy Mel’s final post in this series…

  6. I read these four posts but I didn’t see anything that related to the idea that Jesus kept quiet when he was about to be executed. Why would He do that if it was just mankind that was executing him? Why would he not say anything to his executors? Could you tell me where you addressed this? You said you were going to in one of these posts. Thanks.

    • Mel Wild says:

      My goal in this series was only to answer the question, “Did God kill Jesus?” The subject of the atonement is certainly much larger than what I’ve covered. I don’t recall saying I would cover the question of Jesus being silent before His executers (Isa.53:7), but I will try to briefly answer it here. 🙂

      I believe the Bible tells us that Jesus was silent because He willfully and fully subjected Himself as an offering for our sin. In Phil. 2:8, we read that Jesus humbled Himself even to the point of death on the cross. This was His mission, to take away our enmity and conquer sin and death for us. He said that no one takes His life, He willingly laid it down for us (John 10:17-18). We condemned ourselves by falsely and illegally crucifying an innocent man. He justified us with His death and resurrection (Rom.3:25).

      What’s interesting about your question is that Jesus DID talk to His Father, before and during His crucifixion, and even at the point of His death (Mark 13:36; Luke 22:42; 23:34, 46). As I mentioned in my series, He talked to His Father, on the cross, asking HIM to forgive US for what WE had done (Luke 23:34).

      Thanks for your questions. Much appreciated. Blessings.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s true. He did say “Forgive THEM for THEY don’t know what THEY have done.” Interesting. It does fit in with what you have been saying. Thanks.

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