GOD SQUAD: Resurrection is the ultimate sign of divine love – Kenosha News

Posted By on October 8, 2022


Question: This probably isnt your bailiwick, but maybe you and Father Tom Hartman talked about it. Did God feel pain (not literally) as he watched his son being tortured and crucified? Anonymous

Answer: What a wonderful and difficult question.

Tommy and I did talk about it and this is what he taught me.

Because God is not a person, it is wrong to ascribe human emotions like pain to God. It is called anthropopathism. However, Tommy felt, and I agreed, that God feels a kind of love that is not human but is real and is infinitely compassionate.

Therefore, it makes sense that God felt pain at the torture and death of Jesus. Pain and love. Pain because of the torture and death Jesus had to undergo to make his sacrifice real but also love that Jesus was willing to suffer for the sins of humanity.

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For Christians, Jesus Resurrection is the ultimate sign of that divine love.

Also, Tommy taught me that since Jesus came to Earth precisely to suffer and die, no blame for his death is appropriate or fair given his divinely ordained sacrificial mission. That did not make it easy for Jesus or God, but it made it necessary.

There is a text from the Hebrew Bible in Genesis Chapter 22 that I then shared with Tommy. This passage has some similar theological conflicts.

It is Gods command to Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac to prove his faith.

Abraham had to believe two contradictory things: He had to believe God wanted him to sacrifice his innocent son, and he also had to believe God would never make him go through with such an abominable command.

If he believed God would never make him do it, he does not pass the test. If he believed God would make him do it, then God is a monster.

The life of faith is filled with such leaps of faith in which we are tested in our beliefs. Only God knows how we score on such tests. Our job is to be willing to sacrifice for God and to believe that such sacrifices cause God as much pain as they cause us.

In Gods image

Question: I dont understand the biblical statement that God created man in Gods image. That makes no sense to me at all! It cannot mean physically, because God seems to be a spirit and not a defined physical being. I do not believe it could possibly mean spiritually, because while mankind is capable of wonderful acts of kindness and self-sacrifice, mankind is also capable of horrific acts of violence and cruelty.

What does that biblical phrase mean? I would really appreciate an answer. Thank you. From P

Answer: Another wonderful question. I wrote a childrens book entitled Does God Have a Big Toe? And the answer is no, God does not have a big toe, even though we have big toes and even though we are made in the image of God.

God is not a human being, even though for some Christians Jesus is an exception to that rule.

What it means to be made in the image of God is that, like God, we have free will to make choices about our lives.

It also means that, like God, we can know the difference between good and evil. We are aware of the moral good.

It means that just as God cares for us, we must care for each other.

It means that just as God wants justice in the world, we must strive to pursue justice in the world.

It means that just as God has filled the world with life, we, too, must fill the world with life.

It means that just as God feeds all of us through Gods creation, we must feed the hungry among us.

It means that just as God rested on the seventh day, so, too, we should rest on the Sabbath.

It means that when we kill an innocent person, we are killing the image of God in this world.

It means that we must see every other human being as an image of God in the world.

We learn all this from an old Jewish story of how the great sage Rabbi Naman of Berditchev was walking along the street with his disciples in tow and suddenly he stopped and asked them, Who is that across the street? One of them said, Rebbe, that is just Moshele the water drawer. That is nobody. The Rabbi chastised them and said, You are not my students until you can say about any person you see walking on the street, There goes the image of God. And that is what it means to be made in the image of God.

Send questions and comments to The God Squad via email at godsquadquestion@aol.com. Rabbi Gellman is the author of several books, including Religion for Dummies, co-written with Fr. Tom Hartman. Also, the new God Squad podcast is now available.

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GOD SQUAD: Resurrection is the ultimate sign of divine love - Kenosha News

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