"Till on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live"
(from "In Christ alone" by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty)
and I found myself questioning the whole concept of the wrath of God.
I believe that it was necessary for Jesus to die on the cross (why else would He do it, as I believe He did). I believe that His death somehow was able to deal with 'sin' and able to reconcile us to God (or what would be the point?). But I find myself questioning the explanations that we have been given for this.
I can accept reasoning that speaks of the justice and mercy of God. I can kind of accept the reasoning that some form of sacrifice was necessary. But now that I think about it, I find it really hard to accept that God required His own Son to be killed to appease His own anger! That just makes it sound like God is controlled by His emotions - that He was actually out of control in anger and needed blood to satisfy His blood-lust. This doesn't sound like the God of love I believe in.
How often have I heard sermons essentially saying that we should aim to become more like God? And yet here we have a case of God apparently behaving in a way that would be utterly unacceptable for any believer.
When considering the words of scripture recently I have begun to wonder if it tells us the whole story, and I suspect it doesn't. It tells us only what it was able for reasonably primitive man to understand - there would be no point in putting the real explanations in there if none of the contemporary readers/listeners would understand them.
The explanations in 'science for kids' books are very simple and, in some cases, actually totally inadequate to explain the physical and chemical behaviour of the phenomena they describe. This is not the case in university level text books, although, even there the explanations given at first year level later turn out to be incomplete.
I have begun to wonder if the bible actually only offers a 'Christianity for kids' explanation of concepts like 'sin', 'redemption', 'salvation' and so on. In that case, the wrath of God reasoning may not be the whole story, but simply a way of explaining a difficult concept to simple readers. I wonder what the difficult concept actually is...