The Thomas Pages homepage
The Wounding of God
If God knew
beforehand that giving creatures, other than Himself, the ability to choose, rather than them simply being a product of multiple instincts, would then lead on to the abuse of such freedom-to-choose with its consequent corrupting and devastating damage in the history of the universe –
why did He ever give choice?
own narrow perspective is confined to the sequence of time so we naturally do not see the centre-point of existence!
In addition, the absolute of God's infinity, in relation to our existential framework of time and space, also limits the depth of our perception – unless we become sufficiently aware directly of the nature of God's personal character.
In even thinking about God, we tend to look at the subject through religious spectacles of the past and so pick up the blurs of misconceptions and distortions from human cultural and religious traditions.
Even reading the Bible does not always lead us to the reason 'why', because holding a view on the whole in order to form an in-depth perspective requires knowing the whole as it was originally given, and that means more than language comprehension.
Understanding 'why' means moving the human mind beyond issues of right and wrong, beyond issues of morality or religion. It means internally identifying with God Himself to the extent of sharing His own perspective – and a consciousness of that is very difficult to put into words in any language.
But two
words are used by the foundation apostle John in his gospel record which are key to this perspective.
They are ἀγάπη (agapē / love) and κόσμος (kosmos / world).
 • agapē (love)  
This was just one of several common Greek words at that time which were used for "love", but it was specifically this word which did not carry any sense of relationship-affection because of a shared family identity (such as storge would), or because of some attractive-quality in the one loved (such as eros would). "Agapē" carries the sense of loving purely for the sake/welfare of the one loved, without any benefit to the lover, and in total disregard of any quality of merit/worthiness in the one being loved.
The Bible gives this as the angle/perspective of God's approach to all that is!
 • kosmos (world)  
Unfortunately, this second word has been more subject to the blurring of theological/religious history, but the author John wisely used it more than once in the same writing and that then allows us to understand it clearly as he did without any uncertainty. In Christ's only full length prayer recorded (John 17) the Lord repeatedly uses this term, as John recorded in the Greek, for those who do not know God and never will know God. So limiting its meaning to a spiritually elect elite, as some church leaders have ignorantly done, directly contradicts the Bible.
As an example
of its use three times in one sentence, Jesus prayed for His disciples –
"I have given them Your word, and the world/kosmos has hated them
because they are not of the world/kosmos, just as I am not of the world/kosmos."
So the meaning of this word kosmos can never be limited to those whom God foreknew would eventually become His people, His Church! That Calvinistic restriction, no matter how sincere in trying to protect God's reputation from any frustration of His mercy, is Biblically invalid!
There is no scope for a limited atonement teaching here!
John 17:14
The way
that this apostle laid it out for us in Biblical summary was –
"For  GOD
 so  loved/agapē  the  world/kosmos,
that He gave His only Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:16
So the act
of giving His only Son, as a consequence of this connection between these two (the agapē and the kosmos) – what does that mean?
The term 'son' has absolutely nothing to do with an eternal relationship within the Trinity of God. 'Son' does not refer to Christ's deity but to His messianic identity. The term is derived from Psalm Two verse seven and designates the coming messiah's special adoptive relationship to God as metaphorically 'begotten' or 'conceived'.
The term 'Son' needs to understood in its original context and not from the ideas attached to it by later use, which has misled many.
It is simply saying that God sacrificed the Messiah Himself as an offering for the sin of the whole world.
'giving' of Jesus is the giving of a life in sacrifice, as had been practiced from the beginning of human history with animals as part of worship. The idea was more than simply sacrifice or cost. It was substitutionary, in that the death of an animal therefore atoned to preserve the life of the devotee.
How could this apply to the sacrifice of Jesus?  
His genuine humanity, and His freedom from any personal violation in His own relationship to God as a human being,
qualified Him
to be a substitionary sacrifice for sin
for another person — but only one other person!
The Jehovah's Witneses
the Watchtower Movement
stick on this point!
the object was the kosmos, the world – the whole world!
So this required nothing less than an infinite price, which meant the essence of His eternally infinite being, that which was beyond measure –
that is, His divinity – His identity with the rest of GOD – was therefore the necessary sacrifice!
How could that be?
The description of the crucifixion has so dominated our thinking on Christ's Atonement that we need to think of what was done to Jesus by the religious and political powers of that time as merely the 'frame around the picture' of what really happened.
The driving
force, the motivation, behind all that happened in God's plan is still carried in that one New Testament word agapē
LOVE, unlike and beyond any that history has known.
Comprehending the affections of God radically changes our perspective on all that we read and hear that God has said and done.
instance, we tend to think of the Commandments of God in terms of right and wrong rather than purpose. But God views them only in terms of His beneficent purpose!
God forbids nothing because He does not like it! It is because He loves that He says "no", and this love is not confined to any frame of history. It is His nature and therefore it is infinite – beyond any form of measure.
Purpose prevails
This is where the nature of agapē, true love, determines the sacrifice – preferring the welfare of the other above one's own!  
Sin separates from God and therefore only the absolute of His justice prevails. This is all that Hell means. It is 'reaping what was sown' as justice demands, experiencing that which one deserves, forever, and nothing more. Mercy is its opposite!
within the frame of Christ's rejection by Israel, betrayal by one of His own, and condemnation by political convenience of the time, to be crucified, God chose to do to Christ what had never ever happened in all time, and so it caught Satan completely off-sides. Within that tragic frame, after Christ through His pain had encouraged the faith of the one criminal crucified with Him, and put His human mother in the care of His only faithful disciple John, something then happened which was incomprehensible.
It began three hours after His crucifixion began, when unexpectedly at noon, the sky darkened.
Christ was disowned by God
The Bible tells us of its by describing the reaction of Jesus: He cried out with a loud voice –
"My God, My God, why have You foresaken Me?"
There was no answer to His public prayer. God had disowned Him and had completely withdrawn from Him. He was cut off from God and all that represented His relationship to God. The Gospel of Matthew reports the words to us first in Hebrew because it fulfilled the prophecy of Psalm 22:1. Mark reports His cry as it was, in the Aramaic language, His home language at the time, for even though in His Gethsemane experience God had shown Him that it was necessary that He be treated as sin itself, when that moment came, even the knowledge of its purpose was taken from Him so that in the essence of His eternal being He was utterly separated and disowned by the rest of God.
In His eternal infinity He had limited himself, stepped down from His infinity, first at the beginning of time in bringing into being that which is infinitely less less than Himself, and then secondly limiting Himself to the frame of human experience in being born of a woman. But this self-limitation was still in essence simply a self-limitation and not a loss of His infinity. So as intrinsically Infinite, what God did to Him on that Cross had an infinite effect, and this was its purpose.
Purpose prevails
what was done to Infinity-confined in Jesus the Christ – is of infinite significance! The separation of sin had actually entered into God's own relationship to Himself: the unity of the Triune plurality of God was severed in the spiritual disowning of Jesus. Or, as the Bible itself succinctly puts it –
The Wounding of God!
"For our sake He (God) made Him (Jesus)
to be SIN who knew no sin,
so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God."
2 Corinthians 5:21.
act of God's love (anticipated in the "seed of the woman' words of God to Satan, after he had seduced the first humans) cleared the way for all and more of God's love-purpose to be fulfilled in all – forever.
Genesis 3:15.
Therefore –   
"By this we know love (agapē),
that He laid down His life for us, and
we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers."
1 John 3:16
What Happened in Gethsemane? The Four Jerusalem Works of Jesus Islâm and God

Copyright © Lloyd Thomas 2014-2016. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Feel free to copy, as long as this full copyright notice is included!