We in the flesh are hindered in such a way that with our senses we cannot perceive eternity. The God who took flesh in the form of Jesus in order to be like us in all things chose to forgo some knowledge in agreement that such temporarily 'forgetting' was part of the perfection of the plan of God. As God shielded Moses when God passed by, Moses was denied a knowledge of God because his flesh could not look upon the face of God and live. So to Jesus while incarnate in the flesh would suffer a 'shielding', or a lack of knowledge of some things that He would have had access to prior to the incarnation and would again gain access at the exact moment of His last heart beat. This 'forgetting' of certain things for a time was part of God's participation in our humanity and the perfection of His passion on the Cross. The God who knows all could by His own will decide to forgo knowledge in order that an infinite benefit could be given to us by His Passion.
What did Jesus not know? When Jesus spoke of the sign of His coming and the end of the age He said, "But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone." Matthew 24: 36.
But there was something else He did not know when He went to His passion.
In the Gospels, Jesus predicts His death in the following way. Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!" Matthew 20: 17-19
|View from the Cross|
He did not mention in either of His predictions the great suffering that He would endure when he said, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" Many Protestant denominations say that at this moment God the Father turned away because He could not look upon the suffering of His son. This is not so. If this was so then God would not be God because He would be one who would experience suffering which would bring a reaction or a recoiling from horror. God is God, He requires nothing, He needs nothing, He is complete in all, He can withstand all. How could the God who created the universe and knows the most minute future action of all His creatures recoil in horror to a scene placed in an earthly timeline that He had already foreseen and by His will allowed to be?
Flesh is flesh, and has its limits for suffering for an eternal salvation transaction to humanity. For a person to receive the opportunity of salvation whether they were alive at the death of our Lord or living 2000 years after the Crucifixion the propitiation that Jesus offered for us must have two qualities.
It would have to:
1) reach heaven (so it had to be perfect and Holy) and
2) It had to open heaven for us (So the sacrifice required would have to be equal to the justice demanded for the sinful offense of Adam).
God received a sacrifice of equal value to His judgement, but this also had to have an eternal value. God is eternal and we are protected in this life by God to a measure that we do not realize. We are shielded from perceiving both the rewards and the chastisement of eternity as a consequence of being in the flesh and the world. One that is Holy and close to God can access the heavenly realm as God allows them to for their instruction and purification and the instruction of others. The flesh cannot withstand the holiness of God. "But you cannot see my face, for no one can see me and live." Exodus 33:20.
|Mystical Perception of Heaven|
God allows that our perception of the truth of the Heavenly realm is dimmed for our good. But this can be accessed if you love God and obey Him and seek the good of others in a hidden way. The other side of eternity, the chastisement part also can be accessed by ouija boards, witchcraft, etc. This is why God was so specific in warning us to not go to psychics and the like. God wishes us to access eternity on the side of Heaven, not via the devils domain.
But the Holy Flesh of God in the Form of Jesus took the ultimate punishment for us. His Holy Blood was shed for us. But like us, Jesus had the presence of God the Father with Him. On the Cross when He said, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me.” At this moment, God allowed His son to feel the absence of Himself. Jesus did not know this was going to happen as Jesus had forgone knowledge of it when He took flesh so that His suffering at this moment could be perfected for us. This suffering at this moment was infinitely painful for our Lord and Savior. At this moment God withdrew Himself not because of the pain God the Father experienced in watching the passion of His son for us, but so that the suffering of His Son could reach the ultimate perfection required for our salvation. If Jesus would have to suffer all things then we know that in order to suffer all things, He would have to suffer in an infinite way for an infinite benefit.
In Hell the damned suffer the absolute absence of God, this is a great suffering that is difficult to describe. God is always God and cannot be anything but God. So God could not suffer the loss of His own presence in Heaven. But Jesus on the Cross at the moment of His greatest suffering suffered the absence of the Father for the moment when Jesus cried out, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me.” Jesus is God, He was never without the presence of the Father in all His life on the Earth, but those that would face Hell would have the 100% absence of God for all eternity which is an indescribable suffering. God in His great mercy and love for us would suffer all things for us, even the absence of the presence of God the Father for a moment so that He would truly understand eternal hopelessness. This was not done so as to commiserate with those suffering in Hell nor was it done to redeem them, for they cannot be redeemed. But the infinite nature of this suffering which God allowed was the final perfection of the suffering on the Crucifixtion of our Lord..
God is perfect, all His ways are perfect, even in suffering. The suffering of His Son whose Passion is a perfect oblation ever present before the throne of God petitioning God's mercy by His blood.