Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Are Love and Wrath Contradictory?

John Murray, in His Collected Writings said:

Love and wrath are not contradictory. They can coexist in their greatest intensity in the same person at the same time. Wrath is not to be equated with hate. Failure to recognize this simple truth... is the capital error of those who make the objection concerned. It is an incomprehensible error. Because of the compatibility of love and wrath as coexisting, the wrath-bearing of the Son of God, pre-eminently upon the accursed tree, the vicarious infliction of the wrath of God against those whom the Father invincibly loves, is not only comprehensible, but belongs to the essence of the doctrine that Christ bore our sins in his own body upon the tree as the supreme manifestation of the Father's love. God's glory is not only love. It is also holiness. and because he is holiness, his holy jealousy burns against sin, and therefore against sinners. For only as characterizing sinners does sin exist. The propitiation which God made his own Son is the provision of the Father's love, to the end that holiness may be vindicated and its demands satisfied. Thus, and only thus, could the purpose and urge of his love be realized in a way compatible with, and to the glory of the manifold perfections of his character.... And so we must say that this love of the Father was at no point more intensely in exercise than when the Son was actively drinking the cup of unrelieved damnation, than when he was enduring as substitute the full toll of the Father's wrath.... What love for men that the Father should execute upon his own Son the full toll of holy wrath, so that we should never taste it!