The Father’s Humility at the Cross

The cross is the pinnacle of humility (Phil 2:5-11). We know that event displays the heart and character of Christ, but what about the Father? Is there humility displayed in his role in Calvary? I believe so.

The Father’s Humility at the Cross

When we discuss the Trinity and the cross we must tread lightly. All too often the three persons are polarized and misrepresented. Caricatures of a stern distant father and an unwilling Son abound. The truth, the Triune God suffers at the cross. All three persons experience suffering. All three persons demonstrate sacrifice and humility.

Jurgen Moltmann captures the unique suffering and humility of the Father in the cross of his Son.

“The Son suffers dying, the Father suffers the death of his Son. The grief of the Father here is just as important as the death of the Son. The Fatherlessness of the Son is matched by the Sonlessness of the Father, and if God has constituted himself as the Father of Jesus Christ, then he also suffers the death of his Fatherhood in the death of the Son.”

A rarely explored dimension of the cross, this perspective opens a window into the humility of God the Father. In the giving of his beloved Son the Father is saying, “I am meek and humble in heart.” Humility is outward looking self-sacrificial love. If the Father’s gift of Christ is not an expression of humility, I don’t know what is.

I will end this post with a great quote by Jurgen Schulz. I believe he is correct in his assessment of the centrality of the cross in displaying the heart of God. Though he doesn’t use the language of humility he is touching the concept.

“The Triune God who lives in the Eternal Dance of glory, goodness and grace. The God of Calvary love. The God Christ came to reveal.There is one way of knowing what He is really like—look at Jesus. Look at the cross. Only the Son knows the Father, and those to whom the Son makes Him known.He is a God who lays down his life for others. That is what actually goes on inside the Trinity! Self-sacrificing love. One author described Him as a Supreme Being of ‘fathomless unselfishness.’ The cross was not an accident. It is what this Triune Community is all about. It is what the Bible means when it says, “God is love.” What an amazing Deity He turns out to be!”

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6 comments

  1. WHAT WAS THE SPIRIT’S ROLE AT CALVARY? THE FATHER IS REPRESENTED AND OBVIOUSLY AS IS THE SON, BUT I CAN’T FIND A CLEAR DEPICTION OF THE SPIRIT.

  2. It’s amazing and humbling (no pun intended) to consider that the source and wellspring of any love in the universe is this God/Trinity. Without it, we wouldn’t exist, or existing be capable of love – only self-serving actions. I was struck by the phrase ‘fathomless unselfishness’. Such a foreign yet beautiful concept to me.

  3. Jordan, that is a great question on the Holy Spirit…I think it is worthy of an entire post. After this series of posts on God’s humility I will plan on doing one on the Spirit and the cross. I do believe he played a critical role at the cross.

  4. Rob, great point….I like the quote you pulled out as well. I think that understanding this truth about God has the potential of really shifting the way we think about many of his intentions and actions.

    1. I would love to have my thinking shifted way over towards understanding God better. I know that ultimately, it’s an unattainable goal to ‘understand God’. But at the same time, the whole bible is a source of understanding God, and we are to know it. I’ve heard it said that if we don’t have an accurate view of God, we are actually worshipping an idol – a false view of who God is. I firmly believe that if I, and many Christians, could get a clearer understanding of who God is, and what He’s done, and is doing – our lives would be revolutionized. But instead, most of us lead weak, watered down, faithless lives of banality. God’s work in our lives is a critical component of that. And having friends who like to blog about Him helps too!

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