I have a general question about Jesus being 100% divine and 100% man. In Matthew 26 v. 39, 42, 43; Jesus pleads with God about the crucifixion obviously seeking another path while still stating let His will be done. That is a difficult passage to defend. I would appreciate your insights.
@Kbarnes011 Great question As Christians, we believe that God is a Trinity—one in being, but three separate Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Because Jesus, the Son, is not the same Person as the Father, they can converse with one another. There is relationship within the Trinity.
If I am understanding your concern correctly—if Jesus is God why did He ask God to change the plan—the answer is that Jesus and the Father, though both God, are separate Persons of the Trinity and can therefore converse. God, being Triune, is inherently relational and since love fundamentally occurs within relationship, this makes sense for a God who is love.
I also had a struggle with this passage. Something which helped me was that- Jesus had no sin and knew no sin and had perfect relationship with His Father, in perfect love (John 17:24) as Sean also mentioned above and everything that He did and lived for was because of His love for His Father(John 14:31).
But He was soon going to be crucified and on Him the sins of the whole world was going to be put- He was made to be sin (not to sin)(2 Corinthians 5:21) so that our sins could be punished on Him and a consequence of this punishment meant separation from His Father, from the Trinity, whom He had a perfect union since eternity(“My God My God why have you forsaken Me.”) and it was this reality that brought Him down to His knees before His Father to the extent that his sweat became sweats of blood and the prayer if the ‘cup’ could be taken away from Him. It was not His timidity not His lesser love for us but His Love for the Father that drove Him to this.
This also goes to show us the gravity of sin and separation from God, the glory of a relationship with God and the love of God for us that He would let His Son go through that which we deserved. Hope this helps.
@Theja, appreciate your reply and I think I agree with you. It’s a difficult concept to understand as Christ is both human and divine. I would like to ask one clarifying question, “Are you saying that both the human and divine nature of Christ suffered separation from God?” In my understanding as a human, Christ lived a sinless life by maintaining a perfect relationship with God which was severed at the Cross due to sins laid on Him. Then after suffering the wrath of God, the divine nature of Christ allowed life to his human body leading to resurrection. When Christ was doing His ministry on earth, the power of God was fully available to Him to endure all persecution but on the cross, Christ’s body suffered separation from God’s power until resurrection. The physical death is easier to understand but it’s difficult to grasp what happened spiritually at the cross. As Trinity is one in essence, and the source of eternal life, it is impossible for the divine nature of Christ to be separated from God the Father and the Holy Spirit and suffer death. Also in Christ, the creation is held together. I would need to study this further to say anything definitely but these are a few of my initial thoughts/questions.
The article from Got questions may help understand what happened spiritually at the cross and the three days.
Thank you @Lakshmismehta for the very important clarification. In addressing the question of separation I didn’t give much thought to the distinction between the Divinity and Humanity of Christ. But yes, I completely agree with what you have said. There was definitely separation/forsaking at the Cross as the Scripture says and Christ was dying for us, humans, and at the Cross He was laying down His humanity and the separation was between His Humanity and God the Father. His Divinity is incapable of experiencing death and separation as the Trinity is three Persons- one God and God cannot die with the universe still existing, as He holds it together in existence (Acts 17:28), as you have rightly mentioned and also because He is immutable.(Malachi 3:6)
There is definitely the fact of mystery also of the Cross which we have to acknowledge here, I feel, just as there is in the Trinity. The fact that He experienced and suffered separation and yet was still united with the Father in divine Trinity, the fact that He was made sin and yet was fulfilling the highest form of obedience, that unto death. There is always the risk of going beyond the obvious text and reading into it when we address such mysteries and I intend not to.
As someone said :-
" Try to explain these things and you may lose your mind; but try to explain them away, and you will lose your soul."
I found these two resources also helpful:-
A quote from the latter:-
‘The trick here is to seek analytic clarity without plucking out the mystery of the cross. “We murder to dissect,” Wordsworth wrote. Woe to us if we perform the same procedure on the mystery of our salvation.’
Thank you once again for the clarification.
@Theja, thanks for the well thought out reply. The gospel coalition article is very helpful, especially this quote:
Far from being the scene, then, of the Trinity’s dissolution , the cross is the Trinity’s demonstration . We find Father, Son, and Spirit working in concert for the salvation of the world. We find the Father so loving the world that he gave his only-begotten Son to death, even death of the cross. We find the Son freely giving his life away, drinking the dregs of sin and death in loving solidarity with a sinful, suffering world and, wonder of wonders, holding all things together even as he lay lifeless in the tomb. And we find the Spirit, the one who hovered over the waters at creation and over Mary’s womb at Jesus’ conception, the one who signaled the Father’s good pleasure at Jesus’ baptism and empowered Jesus for ministry, sustaining him in his last breath and in his death.
It is indeed a profound mystery!
1Tim 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
Is 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Rom 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
I found these verses helpful in thinking about what happened at the cross. God who was manifested in the flesh poured out his life in the flesh, took on life in an immortal body by the Spirit, by which He declared Himself as the sinless perfect Son of God. In terms of practical application, we have a model in Christ, who in His humanity felt forsaken but nevertheless trusted God and conformed to God’s will to fulfill God’s plans for humanity.
If I think any further on this, I may truly lose my mind Thanks for the links to the helpful articles! God bless!