So, now that I’ve explained a few of my more recent strange questions, I’ll give you my most recent theological question that I’ve been asking myself. This question has been haunting me for about two or three weeks now. If you’ve read some of my other posts, you’ll notice I’m really interested in the razor thin line between God’s sovereignty and his willingness to be vulnerable for the sake of love. That’s doesn’t mean God’s not omnipotent – it just means that part of being all-powerful is having the ability to limit that power for the sake of relationship. We leverage our power with our friends and children everyday. Wise use of power includes it’s control.
The question is: “Does God the Father live in a state of leveraged power (humiliation) for the sake of humanity?” Now, for all you theologians out there, notice I didn’t say God the Son. The Bible is pretty clear that through the incarnation and the ascension, Christ now remains in a state of permanent humiliation. Part of humanity’s rescue was to include humanity into the divine life of God. At its basic level, that means that in Jesus, a human, now resides within the fellowship of the Trinity. Jesus, by “emptying himself of his privileges,” lives in a humiliated state of confinement that he previously did not know before the incarnation. And yes, God has now highly exalted him…but it’s within a resurrected human body that Jesus returned to the Father. So when the Son was sent, in a way he was permanently sent – it altered him forever. Jesus represents that divine limitation right now as he intercedes for us.
Okay, but that wasn’t the question was it? I said God the Father exists in a state of leveraged power for our sakes. How is that? Well, we can agree that God is all-powerful and capable of deciding how humans enter into relationship with him. But the Father (with the Son) chose the incarnation, the cross, and the resurrection as the universal paradigm from which all humans would understand the Father’s good nature. He chose a single method of revelation and is confined to that chosen revelation: the revelation of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the Father is only fully understood by limiting himself to what we understand about Jesus. Otherwise, we don’t fully grasp him. In essence the Father said, “the only way to see me is to see the Son.” That’s why Jesus said “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” It also gives new depth Jesus’s words: ”No one comes to the Father but through me.” Jesus became the point of entry by which we not only understand the Son, but also the Father. The Father chose this self-limitation for the derived benefit of helping us fully understand his goodness. So, the Father is limited to conveying his goodness through the revelation of the Son. In other words, the Father is dependent upon the Son to speak of his glory. That’s means the Father also entered into a state of humiliation with Jesus for the sake of love.