A Surprising View of the Trinity

trinity-stained-glassOn Ash Wednesday I received a package from Wesleyan Publishing House. It was a devotional book for Lent, “Finding Life” by Jane Rubietta. I love this book because it has been a challenge over the course of this Lenten season.  One of the devotions got me thinking about the Trinity. The Trinity is interesting in and of itself – this idea of the Three-in-One God – a God that is three separate entities yet one.  It is a concept that Christians have trouble understanding.  How can one person be three persons?  I have discussed this with the children at church and that this is one of the areas where faith plays a big part in our belief as Christians.  
The other morning the pastoral staff were having an informal meeting.  That’s one of the things that I love about Parkway – we have some of the most interesting staff meetings – most of them informal – sometimes they occur in the lead pastor’s office – sometimes in my office – sometimes in Dale’s office – or more than likely around the coffee pot (even though I don’t drink coffee.) 
We got to talking about the Trinity – this concept that God is three and yet one – and the point of Jesus’ death.  During Lent I have been teaching the children about Jesus. We have been talking about how Jesus was 100% God and 100% man.  In the gospel of John, he is described as the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us.  A $5 word that we use is incarnation – or literally God in the flesh.   
Here is where the fun begins.  Jesus who is 100% God and 100% human took the sins of everyone and died on the cross.  Imagine, here was the perfect Lamb of God.  Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, because he had never sinned.  He never knew what it was like to have sin in his life.  All of a sudden, here was perfect God taking on the sins of the world.  We know the weight and pain that sin brings into our lives…imagine…if you can…what it was like for Jesus to have all the weight and pain of the sins of the whole world on him.  It must have been incredible and then add to that the pain and suffering of the crucifixion.  
In addition, we have God the Father, looking on…I would imagine that he could barely stand it.  Jesus even cries out “Father, do not turn your back on me!”  God the Father turns his head.  God cannot look on the sin…neither could the Holy Spirit.  How lonesome at that moment must Jesus have felt.  
Imagine the rift in the Trinity at that moment in time. Here was the Trinity – the everlasting Trinity that had been together since before time began…forever…there was no time that they were apart…all of a sudden torn to pieces as Jesus paid the punishment for our sins.  No wonder the veil was torn from the temple…no wonder their were earthquakes…no wonder people rose from the grave.  Dale even mentioned that it is surprising that the whole universe didn’t split apart that crucial moment in time.  
How did Jesus stay 100% God if he had the sins of the world on Him?  If God cannot be around sine, then how did Jesus stay 100% of the Godhead?  These are great questions.  I have been thinking about these questions over the past couple of weeks.  This is a place where faith plays a huge part of my life and my beliefs.  It’s a great question to think about…we probably won’t have the answer this side of heaven…and yet it is great to challenge our faith with questions like this.

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