Today, many Christian faith groups celebrate the bodily ascension of Jesus to Heaven, 40 days after His having risen bodily from the grave and having taught his disciples about the Kingdom.
The Cross, the Grave and the Ascension pose many questions for the serious Bible student. For example:
Q: “Was Jesus separated from the Father & Spirit on the cross and in the grave? Was the Trinity broken up?”
In answering whether 1/3rd of the Trinity died at the Passion of Jesus, it is of utmost import to note Jesus’ human body certainly died; yet, his full Divinity/fully human soul descended to Sheol, where He was very much existent. Then, He did rise again bodily & ascended on High.
Was Jesus forsaken on the Cross, in the sense that the Trinity somehow became disunified? No, not at all. In completing the Father’s will, Jesus could never have been more in oneness with the Father. But, Jesus was forsaken by the Father only in the sense that His sinless humanity was delivered over to evil humans (humanity) under the influence of evil spirits. In this way, Jesus was forsaken to his enemies, but again, in order to accomplish the work He had been sent to do: to destroy the works (regency & agenda) of the Devil and to reconcile (by atonement) all things to God. Eli Eli Lama Sabacthani is rhetorical to those, who (being present that day) would have known the prophet’s words but who thought the Cross of Jesus was meaningless.
Q: “Was God’s wrath on Jesus at the Cross, and if so, how did His death and resurrection appease that wrath; after all, doesn’t a wrathful God affect my view of the Kingdom?”
God’s wrath was not placed on Jesus. It is true that Jesus was made to be sin for us, but He did not incur the wrath of God as a sinner. His ransom was an equivalent payment, & it was for the Trinity, so that God remains just in imputing righteousness to those who believe.
Be very sure that all sin must be justly accounted for. Yet, God does not want any to perish. God is not wrathful toward humans; he loves us beyond measure. However, He is wrathful against sin in humans. So, God’s solution was to make a way that sin’s expiation and reconciliation provided by Jesus’ cross. Still, we must realize that those who prefer sin by rejecting Jesus, and leading others to do the same, will have their own way of knowing the wrath of God upon sin within them (Revelation 1:18).
The Kingdom is God reconciling all things to Himself, doing away with sin (and the pretending regency of the Devil) justly and fairly by the Cross of Jesus. Jesus did not bear the wrath of God that was meant for humans. He bore an equivalent payment of the wrath of God against sin/evil, so that we might be rescued and healed and reconciled to Him. Believe, and allow Him this past, present & future work in you!
Q: “Where was Jesus while in the grave before rising on the 3rd day?”
The Apostles Peter and Paul indicate Jesus descended down to Sheol (the Grave, Hades or Hell) but not for torment.
Q: “What should I know about the Kingdom?”
After teaching his disciples 40 days on the Kingdom, The Apostles asked the Lord, “Will you, at this time, restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Jesus answered by saying,
Acts 1:7-9 (ESV) It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
A Wrath-less God Has Victims (by Jason Micheli) | Jesus Creed