What did God the Father feel when Christ was on the Cross? Some of the answers I’ve heard:
*ANGER–God the Father was filled with wrath, so mad about sin He had to kill someone. Jesus stepped in and took the wrath even though He never sinned. This shows just how out of control angry the Father was.
*PLEASURE–The Father was happy about Christ’s death and it satisfied an inner longing to avenge sin. Isaiah 53:10 says so–God was happy about all this.
*IGNORE–The Father turned away, couldn’t even look at what was happening and ignored the pain of His Son.
There may be truth to these ideas, but I think, when stressed out-of-place, they give the wrong idea. He may have felt all these things, there is a biblical case for each perhaps, but I think there is one word that sums it up, that if we make sure to include in our explanation of what went on, it clarifies a lot.
“Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life.” If love is not the center of what we see going on at the cross then we’ve missed the boat.
Many boil it all down to justice, which makes God cold and hard, uncaring and outrageously consumed with anger, an abusive father who enjoys beating his kid. The chart below is borrowed from a Calvinist reader of the blog and demonstrates my disagreement.
Many make love an element and justice the main thing, it’s the foundation of Calvinism, in fact, and is why Calvin burned people at the stake–justice trumps love. There are a few verses that say Christ died for justice, but many more that link Christ’s death with love.
We must be careful of these things. Our beliefs shape who we are. Emphasizing justice over love is one of the main reasons I’m not a Calvinist. The Calvinist God is not loving. Calvinists’ attempt to convince me he is, but their doctrine disagrees with their sentiment.