Why GOD ? What GOD ? Why is GOD in Hiding ? Why JESUS ? WHY Unmerited Grace ? Why Vicarious Atonement ? Why …. ? [References in the body of this material point to a verse or passage in the Bible] Sometime ago I was at lunch with a friend and colleague at work. In so many words we had both confessed that we had Faith in the Unseen, and had chosen to hold on to it. In the context of modernity where rationalism -energetically and blatantly purports to confound faith in that which is not seen, heard, and available to tactile touch, I have always felt that my confession to faith risks the label of Lunatic! Is there an argument that can effectively extricate a believer from such a label one may ask? What follows is an attempt. In the process I hope to present an argument for the existence of that which cannot be seen, heard, or touched in the common understanding of these words and to which we as humans may be beholden to a far greater degree than the typical scientific community may acknowledge understand or see. As for me my faith was shaped by personal experience that mingled Numinous (the sense of the transcendent Presence), the working of the Eternal, and the quickening of my spiritual and bodily senses to that which normally escapes human vision--nonetheless one that can easily be couched in a rational argument persuasive enough to assure me that one does not commit intellectual treason thereby. Peter entreats those who have tasted the revelation of Christ to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason for the hope that is in you,” (1 Peter 3.15) while Paul entreats us to “pray with the spirit, … [and to] pray with understanding. “(1 Corinthians 14.15). What follows is an attempt to rationally lay out what is more easily “felt than telt” since epiphanies and touches of the Unseen normally bask in a dimension so glorious as to transcend the limitations of human speech (2 Coninthians 12.4, Romans 8.26). They take us into the realm of God--while generally rare, they are profoundly real, instantly life changing, making the transcendent instantly inhabitable, and when the intensity of the experience is withdrawn it surely leaves behind a constant awareness of the glory and immenance of God as Father and imminent Friend. In epiphanies we enter the Abode of God, the wonder of it all leaving the beneficiary groping for words to describe that which goes beyond the limitations of human speech, else the state of speechlessness gives way to ecstatic speech, a breaking forth into the language of angels. Epiphanies introduce us to a realm and language generally hidden from man. (2 Corinthians 12.4) In the course of our conversation, I briefly alluded to Marcile Backs some of the reasoning behind, Why God, Why Jesus, Why Unmerited Grace, Why Vicarious Atonement. She asked me to commit it to writ. What lies ahead unfolds on the heels of her kind request. On the onset, before delving into my argument I would like to make this disclaimer. What I present here is presented not in an attitude of minimizing or under-cutting an opposing, contrasting else modulating theory that may certainly be presented by an atheist or a person of a different particular spiritual persuasion than my own. Rather, it comes from my underlying conviction that we ALL operate from the realm of faith, diverse as that may be. That which we claim to be objectively certain, mathematically and scientifically vetted is edged in faith. This view then casts Darwin too as a man of faith--his particular faith being Darwinism. For Buddha it was Buddhism; for the atheist Atheism; for the mathematician Numbers, and, for the scientist the invincible Laboratory. There is no such thing as scientific certainty. As recently as September 22, 2011 Robert Evans a reporter for Reuters made the following statement: GENEVA (Reuters) - An international team of scientists said on Thursday they had recorded sub-atomic particles traveling faster than light -- a finding that could overturn one of Einstein's long-accepted fundamental laws of the universe. (Robert Evans, for Reuters) The foundations of Newtonian Physics was shaken when Einstein espoused the theory of Relativity thereby asserting that light obeyed no laws and was a power unto itself. If Robert Evans report is true and indeed there exist particles that travel at a speed that can overtake light then Einstein’s theory of relativity may meet with a serious challenger. My point is this….what we see and claim as certain is boxed-in and limited by the length and breadth of our observations. Its probability we espouse in terms of vehement certainty once having given ascent to beliefs we hold as absolute. All claims rest in faith—an underlying belief by its respective proponents be they Darwinists, Buddhists, Numerologist, or Scientists that our personal pillars stand erect and triumphantly scale the test no matter the magnitude of the opposition. One caution though, should these intellectually, experientially and rationally collide when pitted one against the other in grand debate, may our conclusions not be so drastic so as to lead to bloody violence the very antithesis of faith. Having said this, one may ask, are there no absolutes, and is there no such thing as fact. My response is I do not dispute their existence, but at the same time am simultaneously cognizant that we as humans are limited and read imperfectly. Therefore it is impingent upon us to pontificate gently, else we will war. While, it is only natural that we share our beliefs for therein we believe are the rudiments of life, presenting them with arrogant certainty is both unnecessary and potentially bloody. This is what I wish to avoid. What I share is my belief that has rendered me life—My Faith—subjective for sure, and yet so dear to my heart, that I feel compelled to share it while holding out in wonder as to your reaction. Faith, be it engendered by a great religious tradition and the profound spiritual experiences it meets and /or be a set of tacit paradigms that work as our personal pillar to lean on, is that life ingredient that “keeps us from falling off the cliff.” And, for each of these pillars we cling to, as stated above may exist a rational counter point argument that may be presented to undermine its strength. This I concede. Notwithstanding, this privilege I cherish is to me a source of complete joy as it rests in Jesus Christ and God as presented in the Holy Bible (euphemistically described as God’s love letter to man). To quote the hymn writer: “I need no other argument, I need no other plea. It is enough that Jesus died. And that He died for me.” Yet, it is my belief that faith assertions must always be presented through the mouthpiece of humility, since against the backdrop of the universe we are creatures of profound limitations. What I write comes from the understanding that as an individual I am a speck in a speck (our earth) in a factually infinite and expanding universe. Our best understanding has a measure of dimness (1 Corinthians 13:12). Although perfect clarity does not exist, we have what may appear to us as clues, and hints and revelations and experiences we may build on for the purpose of defending and proclaiming our most cherished beliefs. On these I rely, but with the full awareness that it is dimly I see against the backdrop of an ever expanding universe. Briefly, the roots of my own faith stem from a life changing experience birth in me in November of 1970 while camping with friends who purported a strong faith in the Person of Christ as indeed being the Savior of the world. JESUS they said in conformity to Biblical scripture is indeed the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. To this revelation I was born, in accordance to the Bible’s claim that it must be God Himself that draws us to HIS knowledge in conformity to the declaration “no man can come to God unless the Father draw him [her].”(John 6:44) I was drawn by the Holy Spirit and I asked JESUS to enter my being while around a camp fire with fellow campers huddled in His Presence. While I have never served HIM well, He has blessed me with the awareness of HIS mystical presence ever since, moment by moment in conformity to His promise —“I will never leave you or forsake you.” I am aware of this joining through HIS Spirit (Hebrews 13.5, Revelations 3:20). But is there rationale that may be tied in to support this epiphany? I’ll begin by presenting a case for the existence of GOD. Why God? For this, I leverage the age old argument that argues from the standpoint of design. But not as a “COTS (Commercial Of the Shelf) product,” but one that struck me in a knew and profound way as a truth in a moment of epiphany. Simply put, it is far easier for me to believe that there is a living INTELLIGENCE behind the ORDER I see than to believe lifeless order structures itself through the processes of natural selection and the survival of the fittest as some atheist may argue. No sir/siree!, not the ordering that I see. All human beings have 2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 feet, 2 hands, one nose. Each eye, each ear, each foot, and each hand has precisely the same composition. Each type of cell in all human beings has exactly the same elements. By even an atheists admission a Boeing 747 is structurally less complex than a human being. Yet, natural design would suggest that if you had millions of nuts and bolts, and the myriad other parts that go into the building of a 747, given time had infinite patience, time itself would shake these parts in a large crucible and progressively birth a primordial flying machine that would through natural selection progressively give rise to a 747. Further we are to believe these creations would find a way to precisely replicate themselves. However well the argument be crafted and propounded to me this is just as big a leap of faith in the “unseen” as the atheist would claim is a faith in an Unseen God. In fact the likelihood of that happening has mathematically shown to be zero, when the above logic is applied to the formation of a living cell. It also flies in the face of sciences third law of thermodynamics, which suggests that things left to themselves move from a state of order to a state of disorder. It is easier for me to believe in an INTELLIGENCE, in a CONSCIOUS WISDOM though unseen (for we may be paradoxically blinded to the Light), to be behind the ordering of an ordered universe than to believe the earth so precisely circles the sun through processes like natural selection and the survival of the fittest. This CONSCIOUS INFINITE WISDOM I call GOD – GOD THE FATHER, The above answers the question Why God. To the one who asks the question--if everything that is created presupposes a Creator, “then who made God”? My response is I do not know, but my belief simply is that order presupposes INTELLIGENCE and a CONSCIOUS WISDOM. Lifeless matter cannot produce the higher order that we see unaided. The Author of all things is conscious and infinite wisdom. What God? Assuming one either concedes, else with no difficulty embraces the idea of the existence of a Conscious Wisdom, what might this Being’s attributes be. But before proceeding, it is necessary that I ask the reader to grant me the latitude in keeping with the Bible of addressing the Godhead in the masculine tense. While it may be successfully argued that the Transcendent transcends gender, in keeping with God in the scriptures being seen at times to simultaneously embody and magnify the graces of both male and female, I beg the reader to absolve me of the implication of being a male chauvinist and one politically inept should I address GOD as male in this writing. That God transcends our notions of male and female is alluded to in Genesis. It is said that “He created them in HIS likeness male and female” (Genesis 1:27). With regard to the latter, one name for God in the Bible is El Shaddai meaning “the breasted One.” My focus here is to discuss God’s morale attributes for I believe in understanding this we are able to make sense of questions such as Why Jesus, Why Unmerited Grace, Why Vicarious Atonement. While God’s amoral attributes will be alluded to in passing, much time will not be spent addressing such things as His omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence. These we’ll hold as a foregone conclusion by simply embracing the consideration that the Creator of necessity is larger than the created. The universe being infinite therefore presupposes the INFINITE dimensions of all of HIS characteristics, be they moral else amoral. In discussing God’s moral attributes the exploration of the word LIGHT as used in the Bible and indeed in numerous other spiritual writings lends for maximum insight. The apostle John writes: “This then is the message….[we] declare unto you, that God is LIGHT, and in HIM is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5). With respect to Jesus, John writes: In HIM was life; and the Life was the LIGHT of men. (John 1:4). And JESUS Himself said: “I am the LIGHT of the world; he that follows me shall not walk in darkness.” (John 8:12) Having “…no darkness at all” as in the first quote then implies He embodies Holiness and Truth untarnished by any moral darkness whatsoever-- absolute holiness, absolute purity, absolute truth. This then is God’s fundamental, foundational, essential, all encompassing moral attribute. Since any attribute of Him that is infinite must of necessity be infinite, infinite Holiness, infinite Purity, infinite Truth is bundled in the One we call the Godhead. And, by extension, JESUS who the scriptures declare as being Immanuel “God with us” is both the possessor and Author of these attributes as well. In keeping with the moral dimension there exists a parallel physical reflection of glory as well. When Jesus for instance said “I am the Light of the world.” (John 8:12) He was stating that HE was the moral compass of the world by virtue of being the embodiment and repository of all that is moral. In conformity to His true moral stature, at the scene of the mount of the transfiguration we are told in Matthew 17:2, “…His face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” Here we see the highest in Holiness and Purity when cast into a physical dimension results in a “face that shine[s] as the sun,” garbed in clothing that is as “white as light.” Again, with regard to the physical dwellings for those intangible attributes of absolute holiness, purity and truth we see Paul writing to Timothy: “The King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” “God, who only hath immortality, DWELLING IN THE LIGHT that no man can approach unto; who no man hath seen or can see;” [1 Tim 15, 16] What we see hear may be the moral engendering the physical, and the physical engendering the moral, both facets cast in Light, neither proceeding nor preceding but rather rested as two sides of the same coin eternally extant in God. God is Light both from a moral and a physical perspective. Unlike the light of the sun, or the moon, or the incandescent bulb, which is merely physical and amoral. What of the rationale argument of why the Godhead of necessity must be Holy and Pure, and full of Love rather than a Being that is not so holy and not so Pure, else simultaneously good and bad as Ying and Yang may suggest. My argument is based on the presupposition that anything that is created and enshrined in ineffable beauty must have as its author one that is endowed else inherently possessed with those virtues that make for beauty. For as chaos will render chaos so will virtue spawn virtue. The kaleidoscope of beauty that surrounds the heavens must have for its Artist one who of necessity posses all the virtues of beauty. The greatest of which is LOVE. The panorama of the heavens circling us runs with a precision that far exceeds the most advanced digital clock, all maintained by nothing other than the Beautiful Hands and Heart of an Invisible God. The sunset, the sunrise, the planets, the stars when beheld from certain places on the surface of the earth, reveal His majesty and beauty. A friend once remarked that the heavens when watched from the deserts of Colorado are speckled with stars too numerous to count and are “as large as moons”, they declaring the symphony of the glory of God. While modernity may argue that the movements of the heavens are governed merely by the Laws of Science, Newtonian physics for the most part being the prime keeper of order, I would like to challenge this notion by way of an epiphany experience I was granted in 1974. It was four years prior to this experience, based on the claims of Jesus in Revelations 3:20 I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins and enter into my heart (meaning, possess my being). At that point he did come in by His Spirit true to His word. “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man hears my voice, I will come into Him, and sup with him and he with me…” After I received Him my life changed drastically, for now I was being influenced by what the Bible calls the “indwelling” Christ. (Ephesians 3:17, 1 Corinthians 3:16, 2 Timothy 1:14). I began to think of the world and myself from an eternal perspective. I contemplated on the fact that we live in “a world gone wrong” to quote a title of a Bob Dylan album. That as Genesis suggests sin has marred creation, and that the human condition with all its magnificent inventions and innovations flounders in the dark with respect to understanding its purpose and its destiny. But what was unresolved in my thinking was how does the God of the bible lay claim to be the Author of the universe. To cut a long story short, four years after my first encounter with Jesus in 1970, God himself granted me an epiphany which allayed my doubts and answered the question that puzzled me. He granted me what in Christian believing circles is called the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” –- an experience akin to what the apostles experienced at Pentecost, when a Supernatural Wind of the Holy Spirit blew their way and the Holy Spirit Himself rested on them in the shape of “tongues of fire.” (Acts 2:1-4). In my case the manifestation of the Spirit was not in tongues of fire nor a gushing wind, but a supernatural exciting joy engendered by the Holy Spirit that lasted for 4 days. I was satiated with an exuberance that stems from the depths of joy. I remember the incidents of those 4 days vividly. It is my opinion that in our lives ever so rarely (for epiphany experiences are not daily occurrences) God will supernaturally “lift the veil.” This He does so as to impart to us a knowledge that there exists a realm larger than life that commonly evades the eye—the universe of the unseen. This He reveals that we may know that what is not seen is real, eternal, energized and trumps the temporality of the limited world of the senses we often disproportionately invest in. (2 Corinthians 4:16, 2 Corinthians 5:1). In answer to the question did the God of the Bible really author the universe; this is what I experienced at the time I was graced with epiphany: I was walking up the hill to my home. It was about 9 pm. With the joy of God in my spirit overflowing, I looked up to the heavens, and the beauty of the heavens seemed pregnant and as though exploding with LOVE even as the scriptures declare God is Love (1 John 4.8). I felt the Person of God in that moment of mystical ecstasy saying to me, “that the heavens are held together by the intensity and power of “My Love, “and that the laws of physics that surround them are a creation and extension of my love, and, the reason the scientific community hangs its hats on the laws of Physics alone is because they do not know me the Creator of these laws. ” In not knowing God, the unbelieving scientist is limited to explaining the heavens through the dimensions of natural science. But from whence is the wisdom contained in these laws … inherent or bestowed ? Ignoring, else totally negating the possibility of a Divine all powerful Intelligence underpining this highly ordered universe science has managed to convince millions that an environment exists for Natural Design to do its work in exclusion of the Divine. And so it is postulated—30 billion years for this to happen, 10 billion years for that to happen, and 50 billion years for intelligent human beings to occupy the earth. On a humorous note I too as Bob Dylan would say commenting on modern science, “I don’t want to put my faith in nobody not even a scientist.” (Said after he had his own personal encounter with Jesus). It is my opinion, that God has chosen to make Himself known through revelation—Self disclosure. He cannot be found through human brilliance and the universities of the learned , for He resides beyond the pale of the laboratory and the strength and power of humanism. God must reveal Himself, and until he does so we will not know Him as an intimate Father and Friend. Although, we may pursue Him through many a religious exercise and tradition, we will not know Him until He discloses himself to us personally. It is the Father that draws us, said Jesus (John 6.44). Until the God of love chooses to reveal Himself, the best human effort has to offer as an explanation for why the heavens hold together is an assertion that relegates authority to the lifeless laws of physics. The scientist does not ask the question why is it that these laws have an inherent ability to order the movement of the heavens. This is just assumed. Had we to ask that question, we may be open to the consideration that the Prime Mover is an Intelligence. Stephen Hawkins after postulating the “Big Bang” said, “as to why the Big Bang we will have to ask God.” Forgive me if I have strayed too far away from the central point I would like to make. That is: The Author of creation is Intelligence I call God—an Artist infinite in power, and moral goodness for if that which is created is beautiful and holy so must its Author be. God is a God of Purity, Holiness and Love. This answers the question, What God? Why is God Hidden? By and large it is true that we as humans do not see God or commune with Him plainly. While this was not always the case--for before ‘the fall’ we see Adam and Eve freely communing with God in the garden of Eden (Genesis 1:28,29)—God being eclipsed from view is indeed our current state. Why is this? Against the backdrop of the holiness and perfection of God, we as humans, and indeed the human race at large is morally flawed and tainted by sin. This condition led Isaiah the prophet to say: ““for your sins have separated you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you,” (Isaiah 59.2). Were the human race arbitrarily put in God’s presence the degree of dissonance would be such as to cause it to self-destruct from shame. The apostle Peter on one occasion is exposed to an epiphany type experience, in which he has an opportunity to regard Jesus not in His humanity but in His Divinity. His instant instinctive reaction is “depart from me for I am a sinner.” (Luke 5.8). When Isaiah was called of God to be a prophet by way of a deep spiritual encounter with God, his reaction is: “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips. For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. (Iasaih 6.5) Again, when Moses at one point asks God the privilege of seeing His face, God’s response is: “I will make all my goodness pass before you….[but] you cannot see My face, for there shall no man see Me and live.” (Exodus 33: 19,20) Sin has delivered a colossal death blow says the Bible. So pervasive as to cause Paul to write: “ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3.23, Romans 7:23). In the light of God’s holiness, our propensity to err is glaring. The one who is of the opinion that the core of man is one of goodness, must also ask with how many people would he/she be willing to trust the key of his/her possessions without apprehension. Sin being part of the innate state of man is echoed in King David’s statement: “Behold I was shaped in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalm 51.5) This circles back to the question of Original Sin as being part of the primordial state of the human condition. The suggestion being the propensity to sin is inherent from birth. Toddlers fight without being taught to. We come into the world as lovers of self primarily and lovers of others only secondarily. Our modus operanda attitudinally is one of acquisition rather than disposition, competition rather than collaboration. And, perhaps the only reason Civil Society appears civil is because our laws of governance are underpinned with punishment. Fear of punishment rather than the pursuit of truth is the glue that ensures that what we regard as civil society operates civilly. While this may be a disconcerting and disturbing thought, there is an overabundance of scripture as well as experiential evidence that attests to this. At the end of the day we come into the world not as a clean slate to be written upon as Freudian psychology may attest, but as ones marred by original sin. As to the causes to why the human race is birth with the propensity to sin, I will comment on at a later place in this writing. As to the universality of this propensity it may be seen in the words of Mary the earthly mother of Jesus. Mary was chosen of God, being as one “blessed…amongst women” (Luke 1:28) to be the earthly mother of Jesus, the Immanuel, God Incarnate, God with us. She arguably was one among the best of the best. Even such a one in recognition of her own sinfulness says in the magnificat: “ …My spirit has rejoiced in God my SAVIOR. As stated earlier, in the Light of God’s holiness we all fall short. The glorious truth however, is that although God hates sin--for HE is perfectly Holy--He by nature LOVES THE SINNER with an immeasurable love, for, as we said earlier one of God’s central moral attributes is LOVE. God Is Love. And, God being infinite, all things related to HIM must by extension be infinite. He hates the sin but loves the sinner, according to the measure of His being—with immeasurable infinite love. This then the Bible declares results in a unilateral action taken by God Himself: “God SO loved the world that He sent his only begotten son” (to die as a ransom for sin). (John 3:16)…. the sacrificial “Lamb of God that takes away the Sins of the world” (John 1:29). Is this myth or is it reality? In keeping with my opening remark, I will attempt to build a rationale for a number of thoughts introduced in the last couple of paragraphs that presume on the existence of God: I will first try and present the idea of original sin as being part of the human condition, and something that is inherited by birth. I will then try and explain, why Jesus (Immanuel, God with us) had to die to pay for our sins, As the hymn writer says TO PAY A DEBT HE DID NOT OWE, for HE HIMSELF WAS SINLESS. This drama hinges around God’s fundamental attribute, that GOD IS LOVE. The sum total of His creation in the heavens and on earth was birth in context of this primordial truth. Man (humankind) He created so as to be Loved by HIM and in return to love Him in a mutual and intimate relationship. Similar to the communion Adam and Eve enjoyed with Him their Father, lovingly and freely per the opening chapters of the book of Genesis. However this harmonious relationship was short lived, for very early in the drama as described in the book of Genesis humankind was tempted to caste its freewill, on the side of self centeredness rather than to obey God to whom loving obedience was due. Herein was a child rebelling against his/her loving Father. Here sin entered the human race, and this then was passed down through out the genealogies to us in the form of Original Sin. Logic may argue, “Why hold me responsible for the sins of my forefathers ? – penalize them”. The answer to this question revolves around the fact that God being LOVE created all of us in the CONTEXT OF LOVE. Imagine a “system” whose binding force is Love. In such a system it is easily conceivable that in all its undertakings there is a shared sensibility. All rejoice when one rejoices, and all sorrow when one sorrows. The blessings of one are the blessings of all and the woes and trials of one become the woes and trials of all. This is the nature of Love. This is the nature of Family. To say I will not grieve when my brother grieves is to remove yourself from the circle of love. To say I will wallow in jealousy and not rejoice when my brother rejoices is toabandon love as well. And, to say I will not be held responsible for the sin of my forefathers is in a certain sense to say I am not family with my ancestors. While God created us individuals He also created us as family. And, thus with Adam and Eve’s sin, we all our born with the taint of original sin. In a loving earthly family a father will gladly bail out his son even though he himself did not perpetrate the crime, because he LOVES his child. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins He did the same. He paid the just price and retribution for sin to cleanse us from its shame and punishment, just because HE LOVED us. LOVE does dazzling things. A story is told and which may even be in one form or the other a daily occurrence somewhere in the world of a father who took the blood stained garments from his son who had just committed a murder and surrendered himself as the murderer in his stead. It is only Love that makes acts like these conceivable. This is the nature of GOD as seen in Jesus. When Jesus died on the Cross, He paid for our sins, in so many words saying “let the charge rest on me.” A vicarious atonement. He paid the penalty we owed to satisfy and make retribution for the wrongs we’ve done. Moved by Love, HE paid a debt He did not owe. The penalty and consequence of sin in the light of an infinitely holy God is too large for humans to pay. SO GOD HIMSELF PAID FOR IT. God being infinitely holy, just, and good, experiences sin as being infinitely heinous and exacting an infinite price. He sent Jesus, one who has always existed with Him in a Father Son relationship to die for sin. God in his infinite justice regarding this a comparable retribution that would serve as a penalty and price for sin. Here we have Jesus who himself was God incarnate – the third person of the triune God assuming Himself as the sinner in our stead and paying for sin. Here in Jesus we have the Sinless One assuming Himself to be the sinner, although He had never sinned. Jesus then on Calvary became the Sin Bearer though he Himself had not sinned, and in so doing paid the retribution we owed and could not pay, because He loved us. The Bible declares this act as follows: “HE WHO KNEW NO SIN, BECAME SIN, THAT WE MAY BE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD (2 Corinthians 5.20).” And John the Baptist made this proclamation: “Behold the Lamb of God!” By this he implied, that Jesus was to be the Sacrificial Lamb. The notion of vicarious retribution, suggesting the consequences of the sin of Adam and Eve is passed down through all generations in the form of original sin, is accompanied by a parallel notion of vicarious atonement, in which One Man Jesus’s sacrificial death on Calvary makes atonement for all. It is described in scripture as follows: For if by one man’s offence (Adam) death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall rein in life by ONE, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17) For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam ALL die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15: 21, 22) The creator as alluded to earlier is endowed with all virtue. Among His virtues is a sense of justice. Not only must sin be recognized, it must also be paid for. The wrong where possible must be set right. The price for sin to be righted (atoned for) was the death of Jesus the Christ. He was the sinless Sacrificial Lamb. The bible displays Him as the Sinless One, voluntarily presenting himself as the sinner ready to pay the just penalty sin imposes. And so it was, that sins day in God’s court exacted for a penalty the sacrificial death of His Son. On the cross Jesus experienced infinite suffering for your sins and mine. He who despised sin with the Holiness of God, in associating Himself with the squalor of sin bore thereby infinite pain. The analogy that I use to describe this is to consider someone who is fastidious about cleanliness being asked to sleep in a dirty bed in a poorly maintained shelter in the inner city. How odious a trial this would be! This and infinitely more is what Jesus suffered, to cleanse us from our sins. A trail in which the Sinless was subjected to sin. The Bible foretells this event on Calvary in the writings of the prophet Isaiah almost 600 years before it occurred: He is despised and rejected of men: a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief… Surely He has borne our sorrows, All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way: And the LORD (God the Father) has LAID ON HIM the iniquity (sin) of us all. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; he hath put Him to grief, when Thou shall make HIS SOUL an OFFERING FOR SIN. (Iasaih 53:5-10) At Gethsamane we are told that Jesus anticipating the price HE would soon be called to pay, sweat blood while praying:: “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me”. (Luke 22:42) But the cup could not pass if we were to be justly redeemed. For the God of justice demands that sin be atoned for if we are to be rendered spotless and clean. Sin will not be glossed over by a holy God. But there is another side to this coin. Not only was it infinite suffering for Jesus to assume the substitutionary role of sinner, but it was infinite suffering for God the Father Himself to see Jesus His sinless Son being cast as a sinner. But the Father too, did not intervene in the moment of atonement. The cost was costly but it had to be paid. Justice had to be served. We are told that Jesus in His pain while on the cross bearing the sins of the world cried: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? – My God, My god, why hast Thou forsaken me ? While this may be speculation it may also be true that the moment when Jesus was so to say draped with the garments of our sins, God the Father who dwells in the light that constitutes unapproachable holiness was not able to co-habit the sinful state Jesus was assuming, and the bond of unity that existed through eternity between God the Father and God the Son was temporarily broken. The Divine Union of Father and Son experienced a temporary estrangement which was infinite suffering for the Father (as well as the Son) as their love for one another spans far beyond the universe. Thus it was, that God Himself paid the price for sin. This is how justice works in the realm of Love. In a loving family, the sins of one is accrued to all and the services of one are accrued to all. Salvation cannot be earned it is freely given. GRACE – Gods Riches At Christ Expense can be ours just for the asking. Jesus said: “Come on to me all those who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear my voice, I will come into Him, and sup with him and he with me…” (Revelations 3:20,). If the discourse presented above is true then with it is a hope that we can be reunited in a present relationship with God the Father, and Jesus His Son, and the Holy Spirit whose task is to reveal them to us. I experienced this blessed assurance in 1970, and it has accompanied me since. It bears the hope that physical death is not the end, but something that can be looked forward to--at a time of God’s choosing--when one is taken to be in His very presence. Brothers and sisters this is my faith. Thank you for indulging me with your time and thought. Perhaps this narrative has rung a bell with you, else crossed your mind as preposterous speculation too far-fetched and too good to be true. To me both reactions are conceivable. If the latter be the case, ask yourself the question, does not all of life when analyzed and explained return an absolute mystery—AND YET WE INTERACT WITH IT AS REAL. Why should Salvation By Grace, Vicarious Atonement, Unmerrited Favor, be any different— simultaneously A MYSTERY AND YET REAL. Jesus Said: “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man hears my voice, I will come into Him, and sup with him and he with me…” (Revelations 3:20) “Come on to me all those who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) . _________________________________________ Post Script: Why is there Suffering ? The bible states that suffering is the consequence of sin that carries with it the trappings of suffering and death. God early on in Genesis warns man that sin would surely render death. (Genesis 2.17). The same is stated in the book of Romans as “the wages of sin is death,” but then goes on to add, “but the gift of God is Life through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 6:23). Why God permits the horrendous suffering we see is still and enigma to me. I am not able to fathom this nor am I satisfied by a rational answer. But there is a hope that in Christ even this curse shall eventually be abolished. The book of Revelations states: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away. (Revelations 21.4) Is Jesus God and can God have a Son ? John the gospel writer states: In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word(Jesus) was God. (John 1.1,2) In fact, the Holy Spirit is also declared in scripture as being God, distinct from God the Father and God the Son. The impetus to this thought lies in the honor given the Holy Spirit in Scripture. For instance Jesus says: And whoever speaks a word against the Son of God it shall be forgiven him, but whoever speaks against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven him… (Matthew 12:32) This suggests that Jesus would want us to regard the Holy Ghost with greater honor than Jesus Himself. If this is true the Holy Ghost (Spirit) by conjecture must also be God. 1 John 5.7 states: For there are THREE that bear testimony in heaven, The Father, the Word (Jesus), and the Holy Ghost (i.e. Holy Spirit), AND THESE THREE ARE ONE. From hence follows the doctrine of God being a Trinity in diversity with respect to purpose and role, while at the same time being a Unity in essence. This is not polytheism but rather the acknowledgement of three Persons embodying the Godhead. Thus we regard Each as God and collectively as God as well. A parallel would be a family name vis-a-vis the first name of an individual in that family. Harry is a Carpenter, James is a Carpenter, Jane is a Carpenter. Each in an of themselves is a Carpenter of the Carpenter clan.
Please Note: This is one persons research. Allbeit, it is witnessed to by a number of likeminded believing friends and disciples around the world. The writer sincerely acknowledges that he may well be seeing dimly and narrowly, and there may be something that he has written that may well be wrong and plain erroneous. Readers of this site therefore are strongly advised to search the scriptures and validate, negate, else modify for themselves the statements made by this blogger. Beloved brothers and sisters, please examine the scriptures as the Bereans of Acts 17.11 did and thereby stand fast on the foundation of GOD's Holy Word.