“On your back with you!” One raises a mallet to sink in the spike. But the soldier’ heart must continue pumping as he readies the prisoner’s wrist. Someone must sustain the soldier’s life minute by minute, for no man has this power on his own. Who supplies breathe to his lungs? Who gives energy to his cells? Who holds his molecules together? only by the Son do “all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). The victim wills that the soldier live on– he grants the warriors continued existence. The man swings.
As the man swings, the Son recalls how he and the Father first designed the medial nerve of the human forearm–the sensations it would be capable of. The design proves flawless–the nerves perform exquisitely. “Up you go!” They lifted the cross. God is on display in his underwear and can scarcely breathe.
But these pains are a mere warm-up to his other and growing dread. He begins to feel a foreign sensation. Somewhere during the day an unearthly foul odor began to waft, not around his nose, but his heart.
He feels dirty. Human wickedness starts to crawl upon his spotless being–the living excrement from our souls. The apple of his Father’s eye turns brown with rot.
His Father! He must face his Father like this!
From heaven the Father now rouses himself like a lion disturbed, shakes his mane, and roars against the shriveling remnant of a man hanging on a cross. Never has the Son seen the Father look at his so, never felt even the least of his hot breath. But the roar shakes the unseen world and darkens the visible sky. The Son does not recognize these eyes.
“Son of Man! Why have you behaved so? You have cheated, lusted, stolen, gossiped–murdered, envied, hated, lied. You have cursed, robbed, over-spent, overeaten–fornicated, disobeyed, embezzled and blasphemed. Oh, the duties you have shirked, the children you have abandoned! Who has ever so ignored the poor, so played the coward, so belittled my name? Have you ever held your razor tongue? What a self-righteous, pitiful drunk–you, who molest young boys, peddle killer drugs, travel in cliques, and mock your parents. Who gave you the boldness to rig elections, foment revolutions, torture animals, and worship demons? Does the list ever end! Splitting families, raping virgins, acting smugly, playing the pimp–buying politicians, practicing exhortation, filming pornography, accepting bribes. You have burned down buildings, perfected terrorist tactics, founded false religions, traded in slaves, relishing each morsel and bragging about it all. I hate, loathe these things in you! Disgust for everything about you consumes me! Can you not feel my wrath?”
Of course the Son is innocent. He is blamelessness itself. The Father knows this. But the divine pair have an agreement, and the unthinkable must now take place. Jesus will be treated as if personally responsible for every sin ever committed.
The Father watches as his heart’s treasure, the mirror image of himself, sinks drowning into raw liquid sin. God’s stored up rage against humankind from every century explodes in a single direction.
“Father, Father! Why have you forsaken me?!
But heaven stops its ears. The Son stares up at the One who cannot, who will not, reach down or reply.
The Trinity had planned it. The Son endured it. The Spirit enabled him. The Father rejected the Son whom he loved. Jesus, the God-man from Nazareth, perished. The Father accepted his sacrifice for sin and was satisfied.
The Rescue was accomplished.
When God Weeps
by Steven Estes and Joni Eareckson Tada