A little devotional booklet I am reading suggested the first chapter of 1 Thessalonians for its “extended” bible reading for today. So I read the chapter and pulled out a commentary by Leon Morris on the Thessalonian epistles (Leon Morris, The First and Second Epistles to the Thessalonians, Revised. The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991), 54.). This post really has not a lot to do with Thessalonians, but all of the thoughts arose while reading Morris’ comments on verses 5-10 of 1 Thessalonians 1.
In commenting on verse 10, Morris says this:
Since the stress in this verse is on the second coming, it is all the more interesting to find the Son (“his Son” here only in Thessalonians) referred to as him “whom he raised from the dead.” Both before and after this phrase there are eschatological references. It is clear that the resurrection had caught the imagination of the preachers. It was natural for them to think of Jesus as the one whom ehte Father had raised. We might notice also that it is characteristic of the New Testament to attribute the raising of Jesus to the activity of the Father (though occasionally it is said that Jesus rose).
Reading this, I was struck by a thought I had never come across before. I don’t really know what it came from, but I guess the idea of separating the actions of the Trinity and emphasizing that it was God the Father that raised Jesus from the dead (after all, if he is dead, can the Son take action?).
From God’s timelessness and omnipresence, I have the sense that God is equally present in all times and all places in a way that we, bound by time, cannot really fathom, understand, or comprehend. For someone outside of time, looking at all of it as we would a picture, then everything is present in the immediate (a very time-sensitive term that I simply cannot get my mind to get around).
Anyway, all that must mean that every experience we have – every action or event that for us becomes a memory is someone active and present to God in the way November 6, 2006 at12:45 pm is present to me now. And that means that the pain of the cross is as real and present to God as the keys I am hitting on my keyboard are to me now. (Also, the Fall, the Flood, the Resurrection, and the Second Coming.) The pain of the cross persists.
I’ll stop now and ponder more before I try to pour out any more words on it, but it is an interesting thought to me.