On Sunday, June 20, 2021, Father’s Day, I reflect upon the unique and special relationship between Jesus, the Son of Man and God. I am alien, foreigner, sojourner, stranger, tenant and traveler with no place to call home.
I describe myself as the alien who carries the burden of the cross as Jesus slowly moves to reach His earthly destination. Jesus is spared from the burden of carrying the cross on the day of His crucifixion.
I describe myself as Simon a Cyrenian bearing the burden of the cross under compulsion and following Jesus. I am in the City of Jerusalem and yet I am an alien for I am not a citizen of Rome, not a citizen of Israel, not a citizen of Judea, and not a citizen of Galilee. I follow Jesus but I have not yet entered the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth to claim the citizenship status. I reflect upon the Great Struggle, the Agony of the Cup held by Jesus and the Burden of the Cross I carry. The completed act of Crucifixion resolved the Agony of the Cup, the Great Struggle endured by Jesus. I am the alien who is present when Jesus cries out as the Agony of the Cup comes to its conclusion.
I reflect upon the words of Jesus on this Father’s Day. Before getting nailed to the Cross, Jesus expresses His special and unique relationship to God by addressing God as Abba or Father. After getting nailed to the Cross, I hear the final seven words cried out by Jesus. The special and unique relationship between the Father and the Son of Man suddenly disappears. The personal God gets transformed into impersonal God.
On this Father’s Day, I reflect upon the final words of the Son of Man. His words relate to the words of pain and anguish shared by King David, the King of Israel and the author of the Book of Psalms. The pain is the same. But, the Agony of the Cup and the Burden of the Cross are different. The Agony of the Cup gets revealed to Father. The pain of Crucifixion gets revealed to God. Father vs God. What is the difference? What makes the difference? What is the difference between personal God and impersonal God?
On this Father’s Day, I am reflecting upon the difference between the words Father and God, the two different words used by Son of Man before getting nailed to the Cross, and after the completion of the act of Crucifixion that is nearing its conclusion. In my analysis, the difference between Father and God reflects upon the nature of the relationship. The Father-Son relationship, partnership, bonding, association, the coming together, and the yoking cannot be experienced in the God-man relationship which imposes a degree of detachment, estrangement, separation, and alienation. For I describe myself as an alien, I bear the burden of the Cross as I painfully march to the destination when the struggle finally reaches its conclusion, at the ninth hour, I ask myself, “My God, Why have You forsaken me.”