Many of us have heard it quoted through the years... sin is so serious and God is so holy that his eyes are too pure to even look upon evil! Usually on the heels is the inevitable guilt trip where we are called to come to the altar and "get right" because... basically God can't stand the sight of you as you are. That is the message that some people have internalized.
Next of course is the gospel story of the death of Christ where God the Father puts all the sin of the world on Jesus and then turns his back on him because he can't stand to look on sin. Have you ever wondered where we get such abhorrent doctrines... because they aren't in the Bible! Seriously. Walk with me through a few passages and you will see for yourself.
Have you ever read the verse? Here it is:
Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
WHY THEN do you tolerate the treacherous?
Why are you silent while the wicked
swallow up those more righteous than themselves?
Do you see it? The question of the prophet was one of utter amazement that since his view of God was that he could not look favorably upon nor tolerate evil, THEN WHY was evil happening. It was the struggle that Habakkuk was having with the patience and mercy of God.
Just think about it for a moment. Jesus was the express image of the Father. He said "if you have seen me, you have seen the Father." Yet, Jesus isn't walking around with a blindfold hoping that someone will lead him by the hand so that he can avoid seeing all the putrid evil lurking in the lives of people.
Instead, he does just the opposite. Jesus, the image of the Father, stands in front of the woman at the well and gives her a taste of living water by not judging her, not punishing her, not rejecting her nor hiding his eyes from her. Instead he gives her a taste of living water... love.
He gazed into their eyes with such penetrating love, that those who saw the eyes of flaming love were changed...forever!
So much so that the woman at the well actually confesses her own failures running through the city telling everyone, "Come see this man who told me everything I ever did."
Only when love has seen us as we are and still loves us can we ever hope to rest in the Father's presence!
But wait!!! Didn't the Father turn and hide his face from Jesus on the cross?
Jesus cried out, "my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" but he is quoting from Psalm 22 in which he is invoking the whole Psalm. The entire thing is a description of the crucifixion. It is the Son of God moving from the sense of becoming sin for us to confessing his faith in his Father (verse 9, "But You are He who took Me out of the womb. You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts.") I encourage you to go read the whole thing, but notice how it concludes:
24 For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
NOR HAS HE HIDDEN HIS FACE FROM HIM;
But when He cried to Him, He heard.
There was never a time that the Father turned his face from his Son. God was IN Christ reconciling the world to himself. If Jesus is telling the truth, (which of course I believe that he is) then the Father and Son are one. That means it was not about Jesus saving us from God, but the Trinity saving us from sin. But of course that is another blog where we can explore the meaning of the atonement.
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