*This post was originally titled: “The Anger of God has been Exhausted.” I’m not completely comfortable with the idea that the Father poured out His anger on His Son so that now the Father can forgive and love us (as many understand the Penal Substitutionary View to present). However Graham does articulate some other things I have long believed, but had trouble verbalizing.*
I came across a sermon clip from author and speaker Graham Cooke today and it struck me as worthy of sharing. He states,
Romans 6:11 says, “Consider yourself dead to sin and alive to God.” God gives us permission to consider ourselves dead. The Enemy wants you to think you have permission to consider your old nature still alive which needs to be worked on and fixed. But God is not trying to improve you or upgrade your old nature. He killed it off… He killed us all in Jesus. Jesus did not just die for you, He died as you. 2 Cor. 5:17 says, “You are a new creation in Christ. All the old is past away.” That is a fact and that is also a promise. The verse ends by saying, “behold all things have become new.” That is a fact and that is also a promise…
“In Christ” means we don’t start with a deficit. We don’t start with our behavior. We begin with who God is for us… God poured out every ounce of wrath, anger and indignation upon Jesus for sin. So then He hasn’t got any left. That needs to be our starting point… The Father turned His back on Jesus. Jesus who had always known fellowship with the Father reached a point of desperation where he cried out, “Why have you forsaken Me?” God forsook Jesus so that He would never have to forsake any of us. So God doesn’t get angry at us, because He poured it all out on Jesus. We need to understand that many are schizophrenic about God on this point. If you believe that God poured out every last ounce of wrath and anger on Jesus, but He still gets angry, that means the Father himself is treading underfoot the cross of Jesus Christ. You can’t have it both ways here. Our problem in the West is that we have a schizophrenic gospel. We believe we are not really set free and that God is still angry about things in our life that we can’t seem to control.
I think the whole reason for that is we have grown up in a system that only ever looks at people negatively. We only ever see what’s wrong. We never see who Jesus is for that person. If we are going to be great leaders we need to be delivered from that mindset—not just about ourselves—but everyone we see. We need to have a perspective that comes to people through our hearts from heaven. That when people connect with us they connect with outrageous good news [the gospel!].
Here is another question we need to consider: Were you included in His crucifixion, death and burial? The answer is, yes. So then you are dead. Since that is true please stop grave robbing. It seems every day we doing the same confessions. Can we get past this place? Can we stop digging ourselves up and saying to the Lord, “Help me!” Whenever we focus on the old nature what we are saying is, “God—I’m not really dead, so help me!” But God says, “No, consider yourself dead so you can be alive to me!” Hear me people— you are dead to your old way of life. Please stop digging yourself up.
– Graham Cooke
[The entire clip can be accessed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2mEX76AqRg ]