The suffering Triune God

“The suffering Father, Son & Holy Spirit”

This coming week we remember especially the death of our Saviour Jesus Christ.  One of the things that is important to remember about this occasion is the planning of the Triune God to bring this about, and again, first and foremost for His glory and the salvation of sinners, also for His greater glory.  Our Lord’s death on the cross was not the Father’s Plan “B” after Plan “A” failed with Adam and Eve.  It was always the Father’s plan to send His Son into this world to redeem sinners.  Several passages of Scripture remind us of this.

For instance, Ephesians 1:4, “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight…”  2 Timothy 1:8-10, “So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me His prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”

It’s a little (a lot really) mind boggling to think and know that the Triune God was planning creation, the fall of humanity, our redemption through Jesus Christ, and our ultimate glorification for eternity, even before one thing came to pass.   It’s also sobering to remember that the Triune God knew of the agony and suffering that the fall would cause, not just for humanity, but also for Himself.

The Old as well as the New Testament has many references to God’s sadness at sinful man’s rebellion.  During the time of Noah, “The Lord was grieved that He had made man on the earth and His heart was filled with pain” (Gen 6:6).  “The Lord was grieved that He had made Saul King, because he has turned away from me…” (1 Sam 15:11).  God’s Old Testament people grieved the Holy Spirit through their rebellion (Isa 63:10).

Jesus was filled with sorrow throughout His ministry on earth as He experienced the consequences of sin and rejection due to His passive obedience to the Father’s will to come and dwell amongst sinners (John 11:35; Luke 13:34).  Jesus experienced the full wrath of His Father through His active obedience by going all the way to the cross and becoming the sacrificial Lamb for the sins of all who were known to the Triune God before time began.

Thankfully, Good Friday isn’t the end of the story.  Resurrection Sunday follows and we rejoice for not only has our Saviour paid our penalty and redeemed us, through His resurrection we have now been justified (Rom 4:25).

And so in light of the Father’s great plan of salvation, fulfilled in Jesus Christ, applied by the Holy Spirit, we praise the Triune God.  More than that, we now in thankfulness strive to live for Him in true holiness and blamelessly, no longer grieving the Holy Spirit living within us.  Have a great Easter, rejoicing and praising our Triune God.    JZ.