The Wrath of God
People of heathen religions sacrificed their own children and the blood of animals to appease and propitiate the wrath of their own gods and to turn away their anger. Christianity does not believe in doing anything like that. Christianity believes that God Himself sacrificed His own Son to appease and propitiate His own wrath! Take a wild guess: Who do you suppose smiles every time someone makes that statement about God? Why do you suppose people believe God is that way?
When Jesus is dying on the Cross, it is thought by the vast majority of Christianity that he is absorbing God’s holy wrath in place of every person, and in place of every sinner who cannot adequately atone for his sins. Christ alone, as man’s sin bearer, is the only person who can deflect the punishment that man whole-heartedly deserves from a righteous God. God the Father has been offended, and the price for restitution and reconciliation must be paid in full. Jesus is the only One who can pay that debt, and at the same time reinstate mankind with God. So, Jesus suffers and dies on the Cross as the wrath of God is directed at him, received by him, and fulfilled in him. God’s only Son, Jesus, has absorbed the physical, the emotional, and the spiritual punishment that every sinful human being on this planet rightfully deserves. When Jesus sacrifices his life and dies, it is then that God’s wrath is completely satisfied: payment of debt has been paid in full.
In contrast to the preceding description of God’s wrath and the events surrounding the Cross that most of Christianity promotes, Jesus did experience God’s wrath. But what God’s wrath really consists of is quite different than what has been stated above. Can you imagine that God’s attitude toward mankind is that which is described in the preceding paragraph? What kind of a God of love would demand punishment and torture such as Jesus endured? God’s Wrath that Jesus experienced was that he was “let go” by the Father and was separated from him.
The Wrath of Man.
The Wrath of God that every lost person on this planet will experience is the fact that God will “let them go” and the lost will suffer the consequences of their own rebellious choice. Jesus, the Son of God, experienced Man’s Wrath: He was mocked, ridiculed, struck on his head with a staff and with fists; He was slapped in the face, spit upon, a crown of thorns was placed on his head; He was crucified on the Cross - all of which revealed mankind’s hatred for Jesus because they would not accept what he said and demonstrated about his Father, God.
Jesus’ Death on the Cross.
Jesus didn’t just die: People hated him; people killed him.
Jesus didn’t just die: Insane religious people hated him.
The Cross proves that God doesn’t want to kill people.
Jesus Christ is not a blood sacrifice to appease a vicious God.
Why did Jesus have to die?
The foundation of God’s government is freedom - Freedom of Choice. God will do everything possible to protect that freedom of choice; he will even die, if necessary. For those who rebel against God and want nothing to do with him, God will “let them go” their own way, he will “give them up” to their own desires, because that is their Freedom of Choice. God will honor that choice, and is not required to extract punishment on them. It must be heart-breaking on God’s part for individuals who choose to leave; he can only ask: “How can I give you up? How can I hand you over?” as recorded in Hosea 11:8. The writer of Romans penned these words: “God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts; God gave them over to shameful lusts; God gave them over to a depraved mind.” Romans 1:24-32. No amount of persuasion would convince them of the deadly choice they had made: to leave and forsake God.
Hebrews 13:5 states Jesus saying “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” From Deut. 31:6, 8, and from Joshua 1:5 are written the same words: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Human beings are the ones who choose to leave and forsake God. The wrath of mankind was unleashed on Jesus, a wrath that God would never consider appropriate for human beings to endure. Jesus died separated from his Father, but that was only part of the wrath Jesus experienced. Jesus suffered the most terrible physical and emotional wrath from people he created. It was human beings who accused Jesus, who mocked him, who spit in his face, who slapped him on the cheek, who struck him on the head with their fists, who planted a crown of thorns on his head. People hated Jesus and wanted him dead. Insane religious people hated Jesus and wanted him dead. Jesus was forced to endure the torture and wrath of human beings to prove above all else, that Freedom of Choice includes the possibility of death to the One who grants that freedom.
It is for freedom (of choice) that Christ has set us free (to choose).
TAG Ministries is a not-for-profit operating foundation that has no affiliation with any religious organization, denomination or church.
|TAG Ministries Foundation, Inc. ©2002-2004
All rights reserved.