Here is my picture of God.
The source of my picture of God is the Crucifixion.
Many false, inaccurate and conflicting pictures of the nature of God circulate through the minds of the children of Adam and Eve. The multiplicity of pictures creates confusion. “This is God” some say as they point to their favorite picture of God. Others point to a different picture and say, “No, this is God.” The controversy goes on ad infinitum.
Because of the confusion about the nature of God, the most Holy Trinity desired to set the record straight once and forever. In the Crucifixion, they cleared the air. The Crucifixion was disclosure. It was apocalyptic. A veil separated the Holy of Holies from the children of Adam and Eve. In the Crucifixion, “[t]he veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom”. God stepped out from behind the veil to reveal the glorious splendor of divinity itself. “Behold the nature of God” were the words the angels sang at Calvary as God was showing us His nature.
The crucifixion showed us three characteristics of God
1) Jesus is humble. To save the mud, He became mud. The God who fashioned us out of the mud with his hands put Himself into the hands of the mud. The yeast of divinity came to leaven the mud of humanity. Yet, the mud was not just ungrateful. The mud was downright hostile.
2) Jesus's love for us is indestructible. We tortured Him but He did not stop loving us. The dial that controls His love for us is in his hands not ours. Moreover, it is set to the highest degree and is locked in place.
3) Jesus is God. We killed Him but He did not stay dead. Mighty Death itself was not strong enough to contain Him.
Danger invited rescue. Adam and Eve's descent from bliss into bitterness summoned our Rescuer. We needed help so He dove in after us. He could have dispatched His subordinates to rescue us. He could have sent His flunkies. But He did not. He did the job Himself.
And it was not an easy job. It was not a walk in the park. To do the job, Jesus paid an exorbitant cost. He paid the cost out of His own pocket. He did not pass the hat amongst us to help Him defray the cost. Moreover, He paid the cost in the coin of suffering. He paid the exorbitant cost not from His limitless divine resources. He paid the exorbitant cost from His limited human resources. He paid them all for us. He kept not a penny for himself. He paid the widow's mite. He has never paid more for anything else!
Where do I sign up? How do I enlist? How do I join the kingdom of this God who loves me so much?
Jesus is my humble lover who, by the way, happens to be omnipotent. He is the bush that burns but is not consumed. What do I have to fear? He has my back. Because He has my back, I can afford to take risks for the faith. Because He has my back, I can afford to turn the other cheek. Because He has my back, I can afford to be kind, generous and loving to my neighbors.
The Crucifixion itself vouches for the high fidelity of this picture to this reality we call God.
Furthermore, I did not paint this picture. It is a self-portrait. On the canvas of the Crucifixion, the Brush of Truth painted this self-portrait of the nature of God in the pigments of suffering and death. By the way, because it is a self-portrait, its fidelity to the nature of God is superior to all other pictures of God made by human hands both before the Crucifixion and since. All of them must yield to the self-portrait. Compared to the self-portrait, all other pictures of God are counterfeit. Whoever builds their understanding of God upon the rock of the Crucifixion will possess an understanding that will never be disturbed.
Out of curiosity, can you put into words your picture of God? Can you articulate God for us?