Summary: A look at the law and gospel found in the cross.
April 6, 2012 Two Messages – Law and Gospel
Matthew 27:45-46 From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
1 Corinthians 1:22-24 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
I. The Law of the Cross
When God created Adam and Eve and brought them together He said, “What man has joined together, let man not separate.” Marriage was created to be a triangle, with man and woman joined together under God; both giving glory to God and serving Him. Their relationship was created to help them grow closer to each other and also to serve and love God in the process of it all.
Satan played upon the relationship with man and woman to bring about a separation between both of them and God. Adam was present when Satan tempted Eve, and the Scriptures say that he was not deceived by the serpent’s cunning. (1 Timothy 2:14) Nonetheless, Adam allowed his wife to lead him into sin as well. So, it would appear that Adam chose to love his wife more than he loved God when he ate from the Tree that he knew he shouldn’t have eaten from.
As a result, something terrible happened. Adam and Eve still remained on the same side, but at the cost of their marriage with God. They had become divorced from God and bound to Satan. When God came into the Garden, they ran from Him and treated Him like a monster. Imagine how God felt, having His own creatures that He gave positions of power and prestige run from Him and treat Him so. That’s when God told Satan that He was going to do something about this unholy marriage of humanity with Satan. He said,
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.
The only way that God could re-establish a relationship with us was by ruining the relationship between us and Satan. He would have to put “enmity” between us; cause us to hate each other; show us that Satan has not freed us but imprisoned us in our own selfishness and sin.
God said in marriage that no one should separate the love of a man with a woman. What happens often is that something or someone does separate a man from a woman. It might be another man or woman. It might be a job or a hobby or a drink. Usually the attraction attacks one of the spouses which draws him or her away from the relationship with the other.
Something completely different happens in the case of God. Within the Unity of the One God we have a Triune God; three Persons. These three Persons have lived in perfect unity for eternity. This Triune God also decided to create humanity; with which He has a perfect and unconditional love. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all love humanity in a way we cannot understand; not based on anything in us but instead based on everything in Him. So it His common love for humanity that ended up causing an internal divorce within Himself. The only way He could eternally love us was if He temporarily hated Himself.
How can we explain this? When a husband and wife truly love each other and they are together for many years and one of them dies, it feels like a part of them has died as well. It sometimes doesn’t take long for the other to die shortly thereafter. Jesus, the Son of God, lives in an eternal relationship with the Father. The very nature of being called “the Father” indicates that you must have a Son. You can’t be a Father without a Son. So the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have existed into eternity.
Read through the words of the Gospel and it is quick to note what a bond the Father had with the Son. At His baptism the Father spoke from heaven, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17) Listen also to the way that Jesus talks about His relationship with the Father. In John 5:19-20 He said, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.” The Father took great pride and joy in the Son; and the Son loved to give glory to the Father. They had been One for eternity, and even in Jesus’ humility they still had an intimate bond that none of us could understand, not even a conjoined twin.