While preaching at the recent New Attitude conference, as reported on the associated blog, CJ Mahaney said:
Who killed Jesus?The Father. The Father killed the Son. Feel God’s love for you revealed in this verse. He crushed his son. For you. He crushed Him. He bruised him. He punished him. He disfigured him. He crushed him. With all of the righteous wrath that we deserved. That’s what the Father did.
So great was his love for sinners like you and me.
It is perhaps not surprising that on that blog every comment so far, except for my own (I wonder if it will be allowed to stay there?), is gushingly positive about these words. But that is not everyone’s response. A certain Duck has written:
If any single quote could encapsulate why I am not a Christian, this one, by C J Mahaney, has to be it.
How should Christians respond to this? Adrian Warnock’s response was simple:
The gospel is veiled to the perishing . . . .
But is this the Gospel? Is the barbarity of a father killing his own son really the essence of the good news of Christ? Now I do not go along with Duck in rejecting the theology of substitutionary atonement, for that is clearly taught in Scripture. But, as I wrote in that comment on the New Attitude blog:
Where in Scripture does it say that “The Father killed the Son”? It is important to get things like this right. … If the offence we are causing to [Duck] is the offence of the Gospel, of course it must stand. But we must make certain that it is the offence of the Gospel, and not the offence of our theological constructions which go beyond the Scriptures.