The Unbound God
(Originally published in May of 2008. I am currently working on a new post for next week)
Tonight, I was looking at the Talbot Theological Seminary website checking out some Robert Kolb distance learning class on Luther and his theology. As I was doing so, I saw a hotlink for “the unbound Bible”, which is some kind of Bible resource for students at Biola and Talbot. It got me thinking about Jesus.
My first thought was that we have an unbound God. What does this mean? He is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. No revelation here, these things define God at his most static.
What is interesting, however is the consideration of how God is unbound in scripture and in our lives.
Consider Jacob wrestling with the angel of the Lord. I believe this is the pre-incarnate Christ. As my wife pointed out, God is an all-consuming fire. Jacob didn’t run into that God, he ran into a God who wrestled with him face-to-face. The worst thing that happened to Jacob was the displacement of his hip. This story is troublesome to honest thinkers. How can a pre-incarnate being wrestle with a human being? Jesus didn’t have a body yet, right? Please don’t forget Jesus is almighty God. He is also the redeemer of the world. His face is a continual face of grace (excuse the rhyme) to mankind.
God is defined as Love in the scriptures. It is impossible for Him to lie. It is impossible for Him to be or do evil. Although God has wrath, it is wrath toward unrighteousness out of righteous anger. God is pure. He is Holy. He is bound by His nature. Someone once smugly asked me if God was a Calvinist. God is beyond our ability to conceive of Him.
Let’s go further. Jesus is the creator of the world. Matter came into being because of the being of Jesus. It is also sustained by Him. If anything, we are bound to Him, even as sinners unsaved.
We are bound by our nature, too. We are bound to worry, hopelessness, despair, sinfulness and death. We are, by nature, mortals. He is immortal, by nature, and is unbound by all of our weaknesses combined. Most importantly, He is unbound by our sin.
Yes, it is true that Jesus was bound by the nails of the cross, and allowed Himself to be pinned to the tree. God the Father was unbound in the wrath He poured upon Jesus for the totality of our sin. But Jesus was unbound in His ability to be punished for our sin.
Risking triteness, Jesus’ body was bound in the tomb. Three days later, His bindings were loosened and His unbound body was freed to visit with the apostles and, ultimately, to ascend, unbounded by space, into heaven.
Now, the unbound Jesus prays for us before the Father 24/7. His sacrifice is unbound, paying for our sin even to this day.
Jesus Christ is unbound in his ability to forgive us our sins. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.