But God is One- Lent 38, 2021

It’s Maundy Thursday and Jesus knows He’s being betrayed.  He tells His disciples He’s going to lay His life down for them, for us, to display that He alone is the Way.  That’s how He would be our Savior.

If Jesus was going to come and be our Savior, Paul writes a rhetorical question in Galatians 3:19-20 that makes perfect sense: “Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator.  A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.”

Jesus is the Seed to which Paul refers. He is both our Savior and our mediator, but Paul points out that oddly, there’s only one in the mediation process: God. All that is confusing on its own and this whole Father-Son-Spirit of the Triune Godhead is already confusing enough without the Crucifixion.  What do I mean? Jesus died.  The Scriptures want us to know that He didn’t faint or swoon or experience some “Beam-me-up-Scottie” moment as His going from living being in one location to same living being in another.

Nope. Jesus’ dead body was in the grave.  He was deader than a doornail and makes about as much sense as that idiom when you stop to think about how confusing this makes the Trinity.

Here’s what I mean:
When Jesus died,
did the full Godhead experience a parenthesis because the Son was gone? 
Jesus’ body and spirit were in different places. Where did Jesus’ soul go? 

Among His last words, He told His Father “Into Your hands I commit My spirit.”  That would have been the life-breathing-living-beingness of Christ.  His spirit.  His body immediately died.  But what happened to His soul?

I don’t know.  Jesus said that the criminal would be with Him in paradise (Luke 23:40-43).  In Paradise, but His body, we note, would still be on the Cross, dead, then prepared a bit, dead, and placed in a tomb, dead, dead, dead.  What did Jesus mean “with Me in paradise”? What part of “Me” was that?

On Maundy Thursday, Jesus says He’ll only be with us a little while longer, that we’d look for Him and be unable to find Him.  But wait, His body was visible even after death.  They’d find Him on a Cross.  Dead. We could not go at that time where He was going to go because He had to first return to the Father, to be proven acceptable as a sacrifice that He mediated.

So all this leads to a really deep question: At what point between Good Friday’s earthly death and Resurrection Sunday’s bodily resurrection was Jesus…fully Himself…the Second Person of the Trinity but no longer Incarnate? I tend to think it was immediately after He breathed His last upon this earth.  He just resumed a temporarily body-less existence…maybe like exactly what He had before the Incarnation. He never stopped being God, but He did stop having a human life and a human body for a time.

More than just theological curiosity, we ought to ponder the Trinity in light of the Crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

Lord Jesus, You are amazing! Please open our eyes to the deep spiritual truths of Your existence before time began, of Your having created this world and everything in it, the amazing truth of the Incarnation and exactly how impossible all that is apart from God. You are One: Father, Son, and Spirit! So Lord help us to see in whatever ways our minds can absorb, what happened in that moment that You died on the Cross… what it means to have a body… what it means to have a soul… what it means to have a spirit, that life-breath that God gives to each one of us in the human race. May we value life because You value it. May we value the Image of God because that is what You rescued on the Cross. We praise You and thank You for Your faithfulness, for the new commandment that You give us to love one another as You have loved us! Tall order! Oh, Lord it is something that we cannot accomplish on our own apart from You but we praise You and thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit who makes it possible for us to love one another in this amazing way! Thank You that You love us. We thank You. We praise You. We glorify You. We exalt You as holy, and as our One True God! Amen.

If you’re already signed up on my Home Page sidebar to receive posts, you’ll get the 2021 Lent Devotionals automatically. Or you can “Like” Seminary Gal on Facebook and they’ll be delivered to your Facebook news feed. If you haven’t signed up, today is a great day to do so. Advent and Lenten devotionals remain among my most popular offerings. You don’t want to miss this encounter with God to prepare your heart for Easter! Understanding that prior years’ devotionals continue to minister, you may want to have access to a full series ahead of time:

  • Lent 2013 looked at The Letter to the Romans: Paul’s Masterpiece to reclaim foundations of our Christian heritage and began February 13, 2013.
  •  A very special and ever popular offering was Lent 2014’s Be Still and Know that I AM God  which can be obtained through the archives beginning in March 2014. 
  • Lent 2015 began on February 18, 2015 with a series entitled With Christ in the Upper Room: Final Preparations.  We explored what is often called “The Upper Room Discourse” found in John chapters 13-17
  • ReKindle, the Lent 2016 series, began on February 10, 2016 and encouraged us to rekindle our spiritual lives.
  • Light: There’s Nothing Like It was the 2017 Lent series and explored this metaphor often used to portray Christ.  It is archived beginning March 1, 2017.
  • Lent 2018, we explored the questions of Pi and Chi (the Greek letter beginning the word Christos, which means Christ, Messiah, the Anointed One). We asked and answered the questions “Why?” from the movie Life of Pi as we discovered the uniqueness of Jesus Christ in a world of many faiths.
  • Lent 2019 gave us a deeper window into Easter “More to the Easter Story” since we miss so much when we rely only on a superficial understanding of the work of Christ. These devotionals are archived beginning March 6, 2019.
  • Our Lent 2020 devotional series offered prayer points surrounding “Be Thou My Vision” and were aimed at helping us to see God for who He is. The full set of devotionals are archived beginning February 26, 2020.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on April 1, 2021

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