I am sure it has been a journey for you, but I am interested in how you can about to your current understanding? I know you are far more educated, intelligent and knowledgeable then I am, I am curious about what interpretation you have of certain verses? Or if you just don’t know the Gospels as well as you know the OT yet?
I don’t exactly accept it either (other than I accept it to not cause division as it is mostly semantics), as it is not in the scriptures anywhere…though the concepts that make up the definition are through out. Like all analogies (which is what I believe the trinity is) Like @Mervin_Bitikofer said “Analogies were made to be useful until they break. We recognize from the outset that they won’t be perfect.”
Much like in your materialism is dead video, how can something be still and motionless at the same time? Apparently, it can according to quantum physics. How can Jesus be fully God and fully man, be God, yet not be God? A quandary that can’t seem to wrap our heads around, but the trinity analogy does it’s best to explain it.
I think you accept that Jesus is God right?
"When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”"
Only God can forgive sins. Jesus is telling them that He is God. First He forgives sins of man, only a judge can pardon the accused. Then reads the minds of men, only God knows the hearts of men. Then He heals a man physically, God loves and wants to restore and heal, but this is probably the most and least ‘godly’ thing He did. I only say least, because man can heal sometimes, though it is God healing through them, it could appear that man is healing. Most because God is love and restoration and healing.
I don’t think Jesus taught any morals at face value. Luke 6:45 “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart”. “Each tree is recognized by it’s fruit”. Morals are a fruit, that comes from the tree of God.
Luke 11:42 “Woe to you Pharisees, Because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue, and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone”
When you practice justice and the love of God, you will still give 10%. But it isn’t giving the 10% that is saving you, faith saves you, giving 10% is a fruit of God coming out of your faith in God.
Even Jesus said in John 5:19 "The Son can do nothing by himself, He can only do what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does, the Son also does.
Even Jesus could not live a moral life or live a life justified by the law, by trying to uphold the law. Jesus never tried to uphold the law, rather Jesus lived a life to honor the Father, and a fruit of that, was that He did uphold the law, the intent of the law.
John 5:30 “…for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me”
Jesus wasn’t a teacher of good morals, He was a teacher of how to live life abundantly and therefore morally (as a result, not a goal), which can only be done through God, not by trying to live morally.
Jesus’ intent was never to set aside the old law, the old law was pointing to Jesus.
Luke 24:27 "He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself"
Jesus doesn’t want you to try and live a moral life, or set a universal morality. He wants you to acknowledge the all good things come from the Father, and if we live in the Father, good morals will come out.
The old law was not set aside in any way, it still stands. You could not enter into the presence of God in the temple if you violated those laws. Which still holds true, Jesus doesn’t invalidate those laws. The laws are fulfilled in that Jesus now allows us to enter the presence of God through Him.
To enter His presence you needed 3 things.
- You had to be an Israelite (more specifically Levite, high priest),
- You had to be pure to enter into His presence, so you can either follow the Levitical laws for purification, or, allow the purity of Jesus to shroud you so you may enter.
- You had to be without sin (which no one could), or have sin atoned for.
Jesus gives us purity and atonement and son-ship, through His life on earth and death on the cross. The old laws still apply (though are extremely difficult to follow in this society), but anytime you sin, you are made aware that you need atonement, and one came to atone for us, why not trust in Him as opposed to animal sacrifices? Why follow laws for purity when we are made pure through His work on the cross?
That, and you had to be an Israelite, which I am not, so I would have to go through circumcision and other things aliens did back then to become an Israelite. These were not laws for living or getting to heaven, they were laws for the Israelites to have a covenant relation with God and be able to be in His presence and be blessed by Him, which would in turn (in theory) show the world of the great God and cause all the world to want to become Israelites and worship their God.
The wold was supposed to be blessed through the Israelites, and it finally was, when Jesus was able to bless the world and show us His God (like the other Israelites failed to do), so that we can see and know the One true God and have faith in the Father.
Jesus didn’t set aside the OT laws, He fulfilled them and amplified them, or the meaning or original intent for them being said/known.
It’s like a librarians law to be quiet. One could be quiet and the librarian would not be angry or yell. But the thing is, the librarian yelled often… because people kept making noise. Then one day, you were given the ability to hear others thoughts. You hear things like “I can’t study, this noise is so distracting” “If I fail this test, I am going to get kicked out of my house” ect. It was you then realizing that the librarian wanted you to be quiet, not for quiets sake, but for the librarians love for the other students, who needed to be able to focus. So now with more knowledge and awareness of others, you were now able to be quiet, because you realized how important it was to be quiet. You were no longer trying to be quiet to follow a law or make a librarian not yell, you were not making noise out of love for others. This happened to fulfill that law, and make the librarian not yell, but that was no longer your intent, it was a reality.
This ability to hear others thoughts, is Jesus, who gave us the ability to understand the why the laws were written. Not to please a librarian, but when the librarian wasn’t yelling, one could assume they were pleased, and when they were yelling, knew they were not pleased. But were they not pleased at you? Or not pleased because of the result of what you were doing was harming others?
When we sin, is God angry or not pleased with us? He knows what frail beings we are, He knows how we need Him to live an abundant life for us and other to be blessed through that abundant life. If He is not pleased, He is not pleased because of how much we are screwing up all the rest of the people He loves. So He gave us a law, to help others know Him, to help them out. We failed to follow it, so He then lovingly gave us His Son, to reveal to us awareness of others, and that the law was given not for us or for laws sake or to please Him, but to not harm others. If others lives can only be lived most abundantly by knowing Him, when we don’t shine His light to them, we are harming them, but turning them away from Him or perverting or covering His light. Once we see others through Jesus, we now see that the law is not necessary to have us help others, but we now want to help others (which manifests itself as us following the law or being moral).
For a time, it was just for Israelites for the world to be blessed through and know God through, and they were to be a light for the world. But they failed, and now Jesus is the light for the world. We are to allow His light and truth to be seen in us, so the world will know the One True God, and in turn be blessed through having a relationship with their Creator.
Mat 5:18 “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”
The truth of the law exist outside the inscription of it. I don’t think Jesus was literally saying that the words of the law would stand, rather the intent of the law, the reasoning or foundation of the law will pass. The librarian will always need quiet, this will never change. But the Israeilites who once tried to be quiet under the old covenant, is now upgraded to an understanding of the law, and a following of the intent of the law, through loving others, not following the law.
What about Luke 18:33 “and kill Him. On the third day he will rise again” Those are red letters.
I don’t think His resurrection was ‘required’ for our atonement…His perfect life and death were needed. And because of who Jesus is, death couldn’t hold Him, and He was resurrected.
But I don’t find that a necessary act for our salvation, it is what had to happen though. Like if you knock something off of a cliff, and that thing has to be no longer on the cliff to receive benefits, once off the cliff, you ‘win’. But that object is going to fall regardless of you winning or not. God/Jesus is life, Jesus can’t stay dead, it took a few thousand years and all the powers of darkness to culminate all of its powers to hold Jesus in the grave for 3 days (well on the 3rd day He rose, so He was only ‘dead’ for probably 36ish hours (not that that is important)).
I don’t see the death of Jesus as an obstacle for God to overcome. Jesus is life, and was coming back to life, the miracle was in the few thousand years of orchestration of God for the moment to come when Jesus could say “It is finished!” and the love of God could be understood by all man so that He may be forever praised!
But did Jesus’ heart stop, did His fleshly brain activity cease? I think so, every medic would admit to that. Did His heart pump again? No one knows, maybe glorified bodies have no heart anymore or no circular or muscular system? Maybe the power of God flows through our earthly bodies and we don’t need concepts of flesh to give us life anymore? Is that a resurrection like Lazarus, who had his heart start beating again and brain start working…who eventually died in the flesh again. With Jesus’ resurrection, the body He resurrected in will never die, so in a way, His resurrection was not like Lazarus, but better.
But it was clear that He died, and He said He would rise again, and did. As to how technical you want to get with the term resurrection is all semantics as far as I am concerned. His flesh did die, His spirit experienced/felt death, and His spirit is now alive and it was in His body.
Note I said His spirit experienced/felt death, I did not say “His spirit died”. I don’t believe it died, or was ever separated from God (which is what death of the spirit is), though it did experience separation. Like a child who looks around and can’t find their parents and feels lost, the parent is still there, and when sees the panic in the child’s face, makes their presence known and the child feels safe again. But for those slight moment, that child felt completely lost and scared (I remember this happening as a kid, and saw that fear in my own child’s face when they feel lost/abandoned).
I believe this is the wrath of God Jesus felt or took upon Himself for us, He felt abandoned and forsaken, though He never was.
God bless you on your journey to seek Him, and I am sure He has, and will continue to reveal Himself to you as you earnestly seek Him. I hope that helps you understand the Jesus that I know a bit better.