My buddy Preston Sprinkle just revamped his website and it looks awesome (go check it out, and if you're not following his stuff you definitely should be--he's great!) Pumped to have a guest post up there today, "Where Was God When Jesus Died?," adapted from Chapter 15 of The Pursuing God.
Where was God when Jesus died? Some have characterized the cross as divine child abuse—the Father beating the snot out of his Son—to critique the notion that God is actively present doing something at the cross. Others claim if God left the building, it’s neglect and abandonment. While both of these are caricatures, it’s worth asking:
“Was the Father absent or present during the death of his Son?”
Exile is a helpful lens, I would suggest, to look at this question through. Jesus understood his death as bearing Israel’s exile–and our exile, our distance from the presence of God–in his crucified humanity on that tree. And Israel understood exile as arising from both the absence of God (from one important angle) and the presence of God (from another).
Let’s see how this worked.
Exile as Absence
First, Israel saw her exile as the result of God’s absence. God pursued his people relentlessly throughout her history, but Israel repeatedly worshipped idols and unleashed injustice—becoming more and more corrupt. God sent prophets and messengers to call her back, but the people killed the prophets and rejected the messengers, preferring to live on their own.
Israel essentially asked God for a divorce; so finally, God left town…
Read the full post here.