Years ago, I had a question in a small group I was in (it was long before Cord). I didn’t articulate it very well at the time and a different question entirely got answered. I was much too embarrassed in those days to ask the question again (and wasn’t sure whether or not the question was a bit daft), so it remained unanswered and eventually forgotten. Nevertheless, it popped in my head again the other day. It was:
If Jesus knew that he was going to die, and that he would be resurrected in three days, and three days is nothing for God, surely that’s not that much of a sacrifice?
I will admit, this sounds an awful lot like a question Bart Simpson would ask his Sunday School teacher, but it came with reasonable intentions.
I think the issue was that the scale of the sacrifice is not easily reduced to a couple of days’ inconvenience, and requires an understanding of the Trinity that I am not sure we can fully comprehend. So here’s a thought.
After Lazarus’s death, Jesus goes down to where he’s buried (John 11:33-35).
When Jesus saw [Mary] weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept.
Death wasn’t supposed to be part of creation. It was a symptom of something perfect that had been corrupted. This cuts Jesus to his core.
So, when a person of the Trinity has to die, for the sins of others, and be cut off from the rest, even for a short amount of time, the loss must be off the scale.