What about God’s wrath? What about how He hates sin and can’t look on it?  Didn’t God turn His face from the Son on the cross?

This is once again a translation problem. The word, orge, can mean strong/violent desire or passion, ire, anger, indignation, or lastly by implication, punishment. So we have in John 3:36, (The Amplified Bible) And he who believes in (has faith in, clings to, relies on) the Son has (now possesses) eternal life. But whoever disobeys (is unbelieving toward, refuses to trust in, disregards, is not subject to) the Son will never see (experience) life, but [instead] the wrath of God abides on him. [God’s displeasure remains on him; His indignation hangs over him continually.]

The scripture says that any who do not believe are already under the sentence of death/condemnation. Wrath is not the best choice for orge, in light of what we know, which is that God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten son to save it. It may help to realize that Jesus is the representation of the Father, and that He was never angry at those who were, as is usually translated, “sinners”. He was only angry with hypocrites – pretenders, who said they served God but did not know Him or recognize the Son.

As for saying God can not look at “sin”,  Jesus looked at it all the time.

He ate with “sinners”. Remember, Jesus represents God the Father to us. The idea that God can’t look on “sin” comes from an Old Testament passage that is misunderstood. Isaiah 59:2 is talking about how depraved Israel had become. But their depravity hid His face from them, not the other way around. (The Amplified Bible) But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.

In Habakkuk 1:13, the writer says that since God’s eyes are pure, why is He looking at those who are doing evil? (The Holy Bible, New International Version®) Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?

So, doesn’t God punish “sin”? Well, quite frankly, the only scriptures that speak of this are in the Old Testament and refer to things Israel did. The word “punish” does not appear in the King James Version with regard to sin, except in the New Revised Standard Version, and some other less known ones. Since Jesus bore our “sin” and since He did away with the old law by establishing the New Covenant, the evidence says, “No, God does not punish “sin”. He removes it.

Let’s not leave out what Jesus said on the cross. [(King James Version) Matthew 27:46 – And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?]

Jesus is quoting the beginning of Psalm 22. He was weak and dying – but the beginning was all He needed in order to make His point. Also, it was rabbinic tradition to quote one line, when the whole was being referenced – and sometimes the passages that came before as well as after. (Jesus did the same thing when He began His ministry by reading from Isaiah in the temple.) This is a Messianic prophecy by the psalmist, David. Read the entire psalm and you will see that God did not really forsake Jesus on the cross!

God did not forsake His Son!

Jesus was quoting the Psalm with His last remaining strength to confirm that He was Messiah. Those who were there that day would have understood it in this manner. It is we who are confused.

What about the darkness on the earth when Jesus died? Well, consider this. The Greek word translated “glory” is doxa and means an opinion, judgment, or view. The equivalent Hebrew word also indicates honor. Doxa as used in the New Testament also indicates splendor, brightness, majesty, exalted, etc. The idea of glory always being light does not tell the whole story however. Consider this:

Exodus 14:19-20. (KJV) And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.

I think that the world saw only the darkness, but God rose in glory in the Son. He never leaves or forsakes us, and neither did He forsake Jesus. He did not look away, but covered Him. God brooded over Him…….

A further aside is in regard to the Jewish idea the shekinah glory – the visible manifestation of God’s presence. God spoke to them out of the dark cloud. And some believe that the shekinah in the Holy of Holies appeared as a deep darkness. [I Kings 8:12-13 Then Solomon spoke: “The LORD said He would dwell in the dark cloud. I have surely built You an exalted house, And a place for You to dwell in forever.”] This suggests that over the mercy seat, where the presence of God dwelt, it may have been darkness to the eyes of men. Who knows?

Jesus was not made to be sin. He came in hamartia flesh: (The Amplified Bible) Romans 8:3 – For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [ the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [ subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice],

He was actually the sin offering. [2 Corinthians 5:21(The Complete Jewish Bible) God made this sinless man be a sin offering on our behalf, so that in union with him we might fully share in God’s righteousness.”] All transgression of the law was laid on Him, in other words. He carried it, as the last sacrificial lamb. Then, as the scapegoat, He was crucified outside the city/camp, and took both our mess and Israel’s offenses away. Forever. Gone. Finished.

In the song, “In Christ Alone” (2002, Keith Getty) try substituting the word “wrath” with the word “love”.

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of LOVE and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save


‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The  LOVE of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live!

It wasn’t hamartia that was nailed to the cross with Jesus. [Colossians 2:14 – Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;] The Greek word for “ordinances” is dogma, and means doctrine, decree, rules and requirements of the law. This is not about missing the mark, but about the end of the old law.

Because we are human, we do hamartia. We cannot keep any law or rule perfectly.  With the law nailed to the cross with Jesus, it is no longer in effect. And actually, the law was for the Jews, not Gentiles – which most believers are.

However there is a sense in which “sin” was nailed to the cross. Jesus came in the flesh, and He was crucified. [(The Darby Translation) Romans 8:3 – For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, having sent his own Son, in likeness of flesh of sin, and for sin, has condemned sin in the flesh,] Jesus died in the flesh. Hamartia is the failure of the flesh. He remedied human failure and we are rescued.

Hallelujah!

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