Faith in Christ is a highly “vulnerable” venture. Many of us apparently assume that real, genuine faith provides a sense of certainty, and stability; and I think this is a rather safe assumption, given the nature of our triune God. But, there is a flip side to this, and I think that it flows from the nature of God who is trinity. Within the triune life we see the Father loving the Son, by “giving” Him for the world; we see the Son loving the Father, by “submitting” Himself to the will of the Father; and we see the Holy Spirit “putting the Son first” by creatively magnifying the life of the Son, thus providing communion between the Father and the Son. And we really only see what “happens behind the scenes” as we see it exemplified by Christ in His benevolent act of redemption for all of humanity.
In the Gospel of Luke we find the Savior in the “garden” of Gethesmene just prior to His arrest and crucifixion; we hear Him cry out to the Father in angst: . . . Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done. . . . This is only a reflection of the attitude and relationship Jesus has shared with the Father for all eternity; there is vulnerability and trust on the part of Jesus, He implicitly trusts the Father. He has no other alternative, given the kind of relationship He has with His Father. Even though He is in dire straights, overwhelmed, experiencing The dark night of the soul, par execellance; He casts Himself on the love and mercy of the Father. His heart is broken, He is full of fear, He is being slammed by the dark forces of this world, and He is hoping that there is another way.
Again, but this time in the Gospel of Matthew we meet Jesus in a total state of angst, as He bears the sins of the world within His body; He cries out to the Father, . . . Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?—which means, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? And then in the next few breaths, as recorded in Luke; . . . Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. This is the kind of relationship Jesus has with the Father, by the Holy Spirit; one of complete trust, and naked vulnerability. Because of the nature of God’s life, one of interpenetrating openeness and vulnerability, love and trust for short, He, the Son willingly and naturally comes for us. He expresses His complete trust and vulnerability as He humiliates Himself to the point of death for us. He is willing to be acted upon, and passively take our condemnation upon His body; He trusts the Father, by the power of the Spirit, even when He only hopes there might be another way. He experiences complete abandonment by the Father, and at the same time wholistically entrusts His life into His hands; in seeming paradox, and even “foolish” trust.
Why should we be any different? Why should the relationship we now have with the Father, through union, by the Spirit, with Christ be any different? Why should we be surprised when the LORD acts upon us as His dearly beloved children? Why should we do anything, even when we don’t understand, even when we wish there was another way around the angst facing us, other than implicitly and “foolishly” trust the Father? Why, if the life that we have is Christ’s, should we think that there would be any other kind of existence except one of total and complete vulnerability with the Father? We are not our own, we have been bought with a price, and that price is the precious blood of Jesus Christ! Remember, what death and vulnerable trust produced for Christ; triumph and salvation for the whole world. It is this vulnerability that characterizes the Christian’s life of faith, it is a faith charged with the very life of Christ Himself; and it is a vulnerability that we now share with Him in the very triune life of God! Amen.