The Cruciform God

[I’ve edited this post from it’s original form which was a little specialized and ‘try-hard’!] 

For a long time I’ve held a certain verse from John at arm’s length:

“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life.” (John 10:17)

I’ve always held it at arm’s length because… well what would it mean to take it with full seriousness??  The Father-Son love in the bond of the Spirit is the divine life.   This love is who God is.  And the Son says it’s founded on the cross!

As 1 John 4 says, “this is love” – the love that God is – “the sending of the Son as an atoning sacrifice”.  (1 John 4:7-10)   Isn’t the logic here inescapable?  Cruciformity (cross-shaped-ness) is the essence of the divine life.  God’s very life is laid bare (upheld??) at the cross.  It is God glorified in shame and lifted up in ignominy.  

Now we can try to be poetic about this, but are we forced to speak simply in terms of contradiction?  Is there any way of relating the cry of dereliction (Ps 22:1; Mark 15:34) to the love song of Father-Son communion?  Is it right to say “the cry of dereliction is of the essence of the Father-Son communion”?  Is it possible to say “the cry of dereliction is of the essence of the Father-Son communion” without simply re-stating it in equally paradoxical terms?  Would such a re-statement be, at bottom, a betrayal of the cross?

Probably not your average first post, but there you are.  I’ll jump right in.  Who’ll join me? 

Posted on by Glen in Cross, Doctrine of God

About Glen

I'm a preacher in Eastbourne, married to Emma.

8 Responses to The Cruciform God

  1. glenscriv

    Let me be the first to comment on my new blog.

    Been doing some thinking. Perhaps the second half of John 10:17 helps us? “…only to take it back up again.” Easter Sunday is the victory that bridges the gulf of Good Friday. The being of God expressed at Easter both contains and vanquishes godforsakeness. This is a big God! A God big enough to include godlessness within Himself. But big enough also to triumph over it!

  2. bobby grow

    Glen,

    nice looking blog you have here, you’re starting to sound like Frost, now! One of the projects he had his 1st yr grad students do, which I graded as his TA, was a motif study on glory in the gospel of John . . . an excellent project. The conclusion to that study is right in line with your comment here. God’s glory, and person, as disclosed through Christ’s death; and ultimately resurrection.

    I must say, this is one of the most profound realities I have ever ever contemplated about our Lord . . . I can’t get over it—He is awesome. I don’t think this would be a betrayal of the cross . . as you note the “Great Reversal” occurred here!

    This reality about God is what and who I have come to love and worship . . . and I look forward to that day when we all will do it together as the church by “sight!”

    Excellent first post, Glen . . . you don’t waste anytime.

  3. bobby grow

    Btw, I’m curious, how did you ever “stumble” across my blog?

  4. glenscriv

    I think I was googling for a TF Torrance quote and came across your discussion of the “fallen flesh” debate. I was hooked!

    Since you’re the expert – how do I get people to stumble across *this* blog? Just invite friends and keep on posting?

  5. bobby grow

    Yeah inviting friends works . . . probably the greatest way to boost your numbers, wow this sounds like a church growth scam ;) , is to comment at other blogs. When you leave an interesting provocative comment, people are bound to click your name, and at least check out who this Glen guy is. At least that’s how I’ve noticed growth with my own blog.

    I’m glad we crossed paths, Glen . . . even if you are an amiller ;) . You know I remember Frost saying that he used to argue, quite frequently, with his Anglican brethren over that very issue (while he was at King’s) . . . I guess we can continue that kind of “fellowship” :) .

    I look forward to more discussion . . . I’m hittin’ the hay (that means I’m going to bed in “American” :)

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