The Suffering Trinity

3 personsThe Son’s obedience and the Father’s suffering would be meaningless without the third person of the trinity, the Spirit. The Spirit, even now, connects us to this moment in history that, defined God’s relationship with us. At the moment of Jesus’ crucifixion, the vision of the Trinity is most available on earth for “the Son suffers death in our God-forsakenness, the Father suffers the death of his beloved Son and the Spirit binds the other two together through unspoken sighs.” The encircling motion, and the divine connection between the three persons, who all feel the anguish of the cross event, binds humanity to the will of God. Sara Loperana

Some moments in our lives we are blessed by a revelation of divine wonder. I remember one such event when I was in a work camp in Italy and had gone down to the beach for a star-lit swim. I dived into the sea and floated on my back to be suddenly struck by the amazing beauty of the awful immensity of the universe shining down compared with my tiny insignificance floating in a dark sea, and amazed that God should be interested and even love me.

Recently Steve has been talking a lot about the love of Jesus for us and our desire and duty to reciprocate that love. Also, recently we had a Trinity connect event explaining a little about the Trinity of the Godhead.

I think the idea of God as a loving community of three persons bound together in a loving servanthood of love is a life changing concept. God has always existed as a unity of three persons bound together in an inseparable bond of intimate love, pleasure and adoration.

SwimThis continued when Jesus came to earth, we see the three persons of the Godhead in an intimate moment of love when the Father says of Jesus, “This is my beloved Son, and I am wonderfully pleased with him.”  (Mat 3:17) and in John 17 we see Jesus’ intimate relationship with his Father, as he prays for his disciples.

However, we have to ask ourselves what happened to the unity of the Trinity as Jesus was crucified and He cried out,” My God why have you forsaken me?” As Jesus bore the full weight of the sins of the whole world he felt the pain of the whole wayward world lying heavily on His shoulders, the pain of separation by sin, (our rebellion and disobedience), from intimate communion with God. What was experienced at the heart of the Trinity at that moment was something we mere humans cannot fully understand. Somehow the unity of pleasure in community and adoration was fractured; to be replaced by a unity in pain and suffering still bound together by that pain and agape love which is prepared to die for the life of another.

As limited mortals, we cannot fully comprehend the depths of what happened when Jesus died, however we can fall down and worship the pure love of the Godhead as we kneel at the foot of the cross and are overwhelmed by all that Jesus did for us on behalf of the Father and the Spirit; knowing that any form of suffering, bereavement or separation has already been experienced by the loving Trinity. We are comforted in the knowledge that as we pray the Spirit helps us with groans too deep for words. The same prayers of compassion with which the Spirit encircled the cross of Jesus.

 

Ian Hempshall
thykingdomcome.blogspot.co.uk