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Divine Plan?

Divine Plan?

I even wondered about this when I used to be a Christian! But then dismissed it, God knows best, right?


8 responses »

  1. What was coming out of Jesus’ mouth, at this point, was His humanity. He was 100% God and 100% man. That is something we have a hard time comprehending. But He did not want to go through with the ordeal of Calvary (as a human being). That is why he also spoke in the garden, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). Yes, He did know “the plan.” He spoke many times, in the Gospels, that He would suffer, die and rise from the dead. So obviously, Donald Morgan hasn’t spent very much time studying Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.

    • I see what you’re saying. It is incredibly difficult to comprehend. Surely though, if Jesus was 100% God He would have known that the cup couldn’t be taken from Him, as His death was a part of God’s plan as you explained. One minute He knows the plan, and the next minute He’s not so sure. It’s very confusing for me! And wouldn’t He have read Joshua 1:5 “I will never leave you nor forsake you”? So why does He think that God has deserted Him on the cross? Although, I suppose that He wouldn’t be 100% man if He didn’t have occasional moments of doubt. I find it so hard to accept something so impossible to understand! Thank you very much for commenting.

    • Alternatively, he did study them and didn’t buy that theme, at least not as an explanation of the problem. A contradiction remains a contradiction, even if one has independent reasons for believing each of its components. The point is that this element of the text does appear to flatly deny knowledge of the plan, which is a little more than simply a moment of mortal weakness. That other texts may assert such knowledge does not so much resolve the problem as move it around a little.

  2. Actually, He was quoting the beginning of Psalm 22, a messianic psalm which detailed what was happening there on the cross. The opening verse reads “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”, then goes on to details the events of the crucifixion, and ultimately culminates in God’s victory. I think Jesus was intentionally drawing our attention to that passage in order to explain what was happening, that it was necessary, and that there was hope for victory coming out the other side (which we encounter in the resurrection). This further seems to make sense, to me at least, as Jesus went on to continue praying to the Father, including His plea for forgiveness of those who crucified Him. We also see the sky grow dark and the veil tear upon His death, further suggesting that He was not, in fact, forsaken.

    • criticofchristianity

      Oh that’s interesting, I never knew those words were from Psalms. I’m not sure I understand how it is a messianic psalm though? To me it just seems like the Psalmist was going through some rough times but looking forward to a future where his God rules. I can’t see the connection with Jesus, other than the first sentence. Could you explain it to me please?

      I accept that he wasn’t actually forsaken, it just seems strange to me that Jesus, being God and therefore being omniscient, would appear so uncertain about what’s going on. It’s weird that he would doubt his father’s concern for him.

      I’m sure there are probably Biblical answers to these questions, I just don’t know what they are yet. So thank so much for helping me out.

      • I think you have to look at the Psalm in connection with the events of the crucifixion as detailed in the Gospels. Here are some of the critical pieces of this connection:

        7 All who see me mock me;
        they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
        8 “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him;
        let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”

        …this describes the taunting of Jesus upon the cross. These are almost the same words used, telling Jesus to call upon God to take Him down off the cross. (Matthew 27:39; Luke 23:35)

        15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
        and my tongue sticks to my jaws

        …this describes Jesus’ thirst from the cross, which was met with vinegar (John 19:28)

        16 For dogs encompass me;
        a company of evildoers encircles me;
        they have pierced my hands and feet—

        …this describes the crucifixion itself

        18 they divide my garments among them,
        and for my clothing they cast lots.

        …this describes the soldiers who cast lots for Jesus’ clothing (Matthew 27:35)

        The psalm turns after this point, and begins to look to His victory to come rather than His present suffering. It describes the salvation that shall come from the crucifixion, carried unto the ends of the earth, and restoring the Kingdom of God:

        27 All the ends of the earth shall remember
        and turn to the Lord,
        and all the families of the nations
        shall worship before you.
        28 For kingship belongs to the Lord,
        and he rules over the nations.

        And then it concludes with the impact of this conclusively rippling throughout history:

        30 Posterity shall serve him;
        it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
        31 they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,
        that he has done it.

        I don’t think Jesus was confused as to what was going on, His time in Gethsemane seems to suggest quite the opposite. I think, instead, He was pointing out that the events taking place were foretold (which He had been saying all along), and that this moment was not the end. He was drawing our attention to this psalm, to the necessity of the crucifixion, to the purposes of God being fulfilled, and to the hope to come.

      • criticofchristianity

        Oh yeah, I see. It makes more sense now. Thank you 🙂

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