This is Part 3 , and hopefully the final segment of this series. I’m ready to move on to other things, but I sense the need to wrap this up.
In the first 2 segments, I set out to show that:
- Attributes are features. You can remove features from a car, and still be a car. Jesus “unhinged” His attributes of Righteousness and Holiness and attributed them to us. He became cursed, He became sin, and was still the Son of God.
- God is not defined by His attributes. He is defined by His core. His attributes do not determine who He is. He is not controlled by His attributes; rather, He controls them. He is Lord over His attributes. If we continue to define God by His attributes, then will we ever discover who He really is?
- When Jesus became cursed, and became sin, it wasn’t merely symbolic or partial. Jesus wasn’t a symbol of the sacrificial Lamb or the Scapegoat. The lamb and goat were symbols for Him who truly became sin for us. Sin is unholy, profane. To become cursed sin is to become unholy, profane, filth. This is what Jesus actually became. This is how the Father saw Jesus, and it was what enabled the Father to justly pour out His Wrath upon His Son. The Father would never pour out His wrath on a vessel that remained holy. Jesus became unholy, ungodlike filth and remained God. How? Go back and re-read part 1 and part 2.
- God’s core does not include Holiness and Righteousness. These are attributes. These are the results of His core. If Holiness and Righteousness were part of His utter core, then He would have ceased being God when He became cursed sin, and imputed (attributed) His righteousness to us. 2 Cor. 5:21, Gal. 3:13, Isa. 53:12 would become impossible. Holiness and Righteousness are not “essential” requirements for being God. They are products of His core.
After reading through the first two posts, it becomes clear from scripture that since Jesus was clearly able to unhinge His attributes of Righteousness and Holiness for our sakes and remain the Son of God, then His ability to set aside Immortality and Omniscience becomes much easier for us to grasp. After all, He is Lord over His attributes.
Concerning Immortality: Jesus really died. He died like we die. Some would argue that only His body died (If you want to stick with that argument, then I guess that we are all immortal, and there is nothing special about these passages I Timothy 1:17, I Timothy 6:16). Jesus said that his soul was suffering through the death process (Matt. 26: 38). His spirit endured the cross and was not separated from that process (Lk. 23:46).
Jesus made it clear that He was Lord over His attribute of Immortality. Jesus said, “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” If Jesus was not Lord over His attributes, it would have been impossible for Him to die for us. If God cannot control His attributes, then we cannot be saved. Being Immortal is great. Being Immortal, being able to lay it down to die, then resurrecting, and being Immortal again demonstrates even greater authority! God isn’t supposed to die; but Jesus is Lord over His attributes, laid down His immortality, and was still God.
Concerning Omniscience: I could enumerate several scriptures and make several other points on this subject, but I will save that for another day. For now, I want to point out one thing. Jesus said, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” Jesus knew a lot of things. It’s clear that Jesus didn’t know this. Omniscient means ALL-knowing; therefore, Jesus was not omniscient while on earth. Keep in mind that God does not require His attributes in order to be God. I really believe that this fact of not being omniscient while on earth has valuable lessons for our present-day walk which I hope to explore later. Jesus laid down His omniscience, depended on the Father, and Jesus was still God. Hallelujah!
Concerning Omnipresence: I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this. But I did have a thought while writing…When Jesus was suffering and dying on the cross, do you really think that another part of His presence was monitoring the tide in Hawaii? Personally, I believe that everything about Jesus was solely focused on the cross. I cannot imagine that any part of Him was paying attention to anything else during that time. I do not believe that Jesus was omnipresent at that time. I believe the totality of the Son of God was on the cross. I believe that everything about Him was “enduring the shame”. I could easily be all wrong about this, but I kind of think that the Father was pretty focused with pouring out ALL HIS WRATH ON HIS SON at that moment also. That moment was unlike any other moment, don’t ya think? The Holy Spirit is completely capable of watching the Universe by Himself. For that matter, maybe the angels were taking care of business. If God can trust Michael to contend with the Devil, I’m sure that there were enough responsible angels to take care of universal business. This is just speculation. Please don’t throw tomatoes.
Bottom Line: Jesus is Lord. He is Lord over His attributes. He can strip them away and still be God. That’s real authority and power!
I want to end with a question for consideration. Please fill out the poll below:
- Is Jesus El Shaddai Essay (donnabarton.wordpress.com)