Sin and atonement [Part – 6]
January 8, 2011 3 Comments
Did God the Father Suffer As Well?
Coming to the nature of the ‘Son’, we cannot believe that he was thrown into Hell Fire, as that would mean an internal contradiction with himself. Returning to the basic concept of Christianity. It is said that God and the ‘Son’ are two persons but of the same nature and substance. It is impossible for one to go through an experience while the other does not share in it. How can we believe that one aspect of God, the ‘Son’, was being tormented, while God the Father remained unscathed. If He did not suffer, it would be tantamount to breaking the Unity of God. Three persons in one becomes even more inconceivable because the experiences of each constituent of Trinity have turned out to be so different and remote from each other that it appears impossible for one God to be in the raging fire of hell, and at the same time the other to remain perfectly aloof and untouched. There is no other choice for the Christians of today but either to sacrifice the Unity of God and believe in three different Gods, like the pagans of pre-Christianity such as the Romans and the Greeks, or they remain true to themselves and believe that God is one and as such, two aspects of God cannot undergo contradictory states. When a child suffers, it is impossible for the mother to remain calm and peaceful. She must suffer as well, sometimes more than the child. What was happening to God the Father when He made His ‘Son’ suffer the agony of three days in hell? What was happening to God the ‘Son’? Was he divided into two persons, with two forms and substances? One form suffering in hell and the other completely outside, not suffering at all? If God the Father was suffering then what was the need of creating the ‘Son’, when He himself could have suffered. So this is a very direct question. Why did He not just suffer for Himself? Why draw out such a difficult plan to resolve the problem of forgiveness?
The Punishment of Fire
Here, the question of hell to which, according to the Christian doctrine, Jesus was confined to, should be examined more closely. What sort of hell was it, was it the same hell we read about in the New Testament, which says:
The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matt 13:41–42)
Before we proceed further, it has to be very clearly understood what the New Testament means by the punishment of fire or the punishment of hell. Is it a fire which burns the soul or is it a carnal fire which consumes the body and thereby tortures the soul? Do the Christians believe that after death we will return to the same body which the soul left behind to disintegrate to earth and ashes, or will there be a new body created for each soul and the resurrected person would experience a sort of reincarnation?
If it is carnal fire and a corporeal punishment, then one has to extend one’s imagination to the limit of its tethers as to what may have happened in the case of Jesus Christ. Before being subjected to the Fire, was his soul re-imprisoned in the body of the man he had been haunting all his life on earth, or was he somehow relegated to an astral body? If the later is the case then that astral body would have been beyond the reach of the carnal fire of hell to scorch, punish or destroy. On the other hand if we accept the scenario that the body of the man he had occupied would be reconstructed for Jesus as a sort of medium through which he could suffer hell, then one cannot fail to notice another blow done to the principle of divine justice. Poor man, first of all he was practically hijacked for all his life by an alien soul but then as a reward for the hospitality forced upon him he would burn in hell for no crime of his own. The credit of his sacrifice being totally monopolized by the alien occupant within him. Again, what about the soul of that man or perhaps he did not have a soul of his own. If not, then the man in Jesus and the God in Jesus had to be one and the same person and the plea that Jesus acted sometimes by his human impulses and sometimes by divine Will, is reduced to sheer hocus-pocus. The only formula acceptable to any intellect is that one soul and one body equals one person. Two souls and one body is a bizarre idea which can only be entertained by those who believe in people being haunted by ghosts or similar things.
Sacrifice and Spiritual Bliss
If the second option is more acceptable to the Christian Theologists in that it assumes only the soul of Jesus to have entered hell and that hell to be a spiritual hell. If so, there seems to be no reason why we should reject this suggestion as nonsensical. However, the spiritual hell is only created by pangs of conscience or a sense of guilt. In the case of Jesus Christ, neither was applicable. When you accept the penalty of another’s crime, being innocent yourself, it is not pangs of conscience which are generated but quite the opposite. The soul of such a person should vibrate with a sense of nobility and self-sacrifice. Which would be tantamount to spiritual heaven rather than hell.
Now we turn to the question of the body that was occupied by Jesus and the meaning of death in relation to that body and also to the meaning of revival in the same context. To the best of our knowledge the body of Jesus Christ had to be an integral part of the ‘Sonship’ of Jesus. Otherwise, he would have no common meeting ground left to him for his divinity and humanity to merge upon and play distinctly different roles under certain conditions. At times we should see the man taking charge of affairs, provided he had a separate soul himself and at times we should observe the Divine asserting Himself and controlling the man’s faculties of head and heart. Again we emphasise that this can happen only if there are two distinct personalities locked up in a single being.