Sunday, May 8, 2011

Is Jesus Both God and Man? - - a comment

This is a comment on the above titled article.

If I cut to the chase and state outright "God died" that would put my statement in the same category as others who make sound bite statements with no less understanding or ability to convey their convictions. The tactic of hitting listeners with a barrage of questions so as to stun and mesmerize them creates the desired impression of knowledge on the part of the questioner. Proof this knowledge must reside, it is assumed, with the questioner is the absence of responses from his listeners. This is hardly understanding by those posing the questions anymore than it is teaching on their part.

Judging from your blog you are quite familiar with the usual assortment of proof texts to your claims concerning Jesus. I won't waste your time restating them. Here are a few, but simple matters overlooked.
  1. The statement that God died is not to say that he remained dead.
  2. The statement that God cannot die is not to say he would not die.
  3. The statement God cannot die is a statement of fear. Allow me to explain.
The writer of Hebrews states as much in Hebrews 2:14 Since then the children have shared in flesh and blood, he also himself in the same way partook of the same, that through death he might bring to nothing him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 2:15 and might deliver all of them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

This view on the permanence of death, and I leave it to you to ponder, can probably be traced back to the garden. The death Satan and Adam and Eve had never witnessed or experienced occurred initially and immediately with the spiritual separation between Adam and Eve and God. All eventually saw natural death overcome the man and the woman.

What does a liar do when he is exposed? He creates another lie. When Satan's lie that Adam and Eve would not die was exposed he did as liars do, and as he is the father of all lies (John 8:44), he created another lie. It is the lie many live and die with believing the permanence of death. Satan's work was not completed so as to allow him to rest when Adam and Eve fell into disobedience of God. Once the reality of death became evident his new lie was and remains that death is final. Furthermore, Satan's message to man has echoed throughout the history of creation: God cannot save you from death. God cannot help you. God will not help you. God cannot understand your situation. God is not a man.

Whether Satan knows it or not it seems the lie with which he deceived Adam and Eve that they would not die has become true about Satan himself: It is he who will not die. His condemnation in the lake of fire is not his death as in the sense of annihilation. Who, other than the author of Life could have the power to give life, but to raise the dead, also? As impressive as raising ten Lazaruses it would have been nothing more than just that: impressive. The claims Jesus made openly to his disciples in the hearing of his enemies concerning his crucifixion and resurrection was to be the ultimate in-your-face demonstration to Satan that the giver of life has power over death too.

This God was willing to demonstrate, not by sending yet another messenger to raise a few dead corpses and to raise up that messenger, but to lay down his own life and take it up again. It was an effective demonstration that death is nothing to God. It has no power over him. It is in the palm of his hand. He can lay down his life and take it up again.

A God as all powerful, omniscient and omnipresent at his weakest, most ignorant and limited capabilities is infinitely more than man whom He created. His willingness to subject Himself is well in keeping with the what he expects from those who profess to trust him. Would God cease to be God by taking on the form of man anymore than he ceased to be God when He appeared in the burning bush to Moses and numerous other manifestations throughout history? God, who is acknowledged as being in the garden of Eden, did not lose his hearing, his mind, his memory or his divine omniscience when he called out to Adam and Eve, "Where are you?" Discerning why God called out for the man and woman would be to discern why Jesus called out, "Who touched me?" Unless, of course, one cannot discern the latter of these two, then we are back to square one: Who was in the garden?

Yes, there remain a deluge of questions and not without understanding and answers, but all these pale with the understanding of the blinding effect death has as much over non-believers and professing believers in God the Creator of heaven and earth. Raising the dead, walking on water and all other miracles are mere impressive displays compared to the resurrection. Even more impressive than the resurrection is that it happened as foretold by Jesus. This, presumably, demands a second look at the man called Jesus.

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