One of the things I admire most about my father is his willingness to work hard. An early riser all his life, he has done roofing, painting, commercial fishing, and built grain barns. In his professional life as a professor he has spent hours long into the night grading papers, writing books, and obsessing over all sorts of theological conundrums.

None of the things my father has set himself to do have been easy. But they have been good. Out of his fatherly love for his family, his students, and the church, he has done many good things. God’s Fatherhood likewise compelled Him to do and allow much of the same on this hardest of days.

As we consider today means Christ died on the cross for us, let’s consider this from the Father’s angle. Certainly, this day was foreknown by Him from eternity past (Ephesians 1:4; Revelation 13:8), it was in His plan (John 6:38), might even be said to have “pleased” Him (Isaiah 53:10), was the means by which He reconciled all things to himself (Colossians 1:20), and on this day He defeated sin and death (Colossians 2:15).

But does all this mean today was not hard for the Father? That it was easy? That despite knowing today would bring victory from defeat, it was nonetheless at tremendous cost to the sovereign, Triune God?

According to Matthew and Mark, Jesus cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” suggesting in the final moments the Father was far from His Son. (Matthew 27:46) According to Luke, he cried, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46) suggesting the Father was near and intimately involved in His Son’s suffering. (A side note: John’s scene in 19:30 is very different where Jesus proclaims, almost triumphantly, “It is finished.”)

When combining the two scenes together for a full picture it is as if the Father is torn between removing His presence from the object of sin that His Son has become and remaining on hand to comfort the Son the moment His task is completed.

How else would we expect the Father who is utterly righteous and loving to respond to His one and only begotten and beloved made accursed and stricken? Would we not expect Him to, in fact, be torn, as His own Son was torn, for the suffering He was made to endure?

In prayerfully considering what today means, may we consider our Father who knows loss intimately well, and who was torn by the very same punishment that his own Son endured.

It was not easy. But it was good.

Pastor Ryan Lunde
Young Adult Pastor

Subscribe to the Daily Fill