What is meant by Jesus facing God's Wrath?

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Puritan Board Freshman
In what sense did Jesus take God's wrath on the Cross? It seems to me that scripture focuses more on the physical death, as Peter says, he bore our sins in His body. As I understand it the death of Christ met the requirements of God's law and is therefore propitious. But there does seem to be a spiritual dimension. But the NT doesn't seem to focus on that? And in what form did this wrath take? Was it being cut off from the presence of the Father? Or were there spiritual flames so to speak? Because whatever happened, it was enough to pay for an eternity in hell. Which makes me wonder how He is a Subsitute for our eternal damnation? Is it His value as God's Son? I realise there are a lot of questions here. I have The Book by Packer "In My Place Condemned He Stood" but it more made a case for Penal Subsitutionary Atonement than it did explain how it works.


Staff member
There are plenty here more qualified to answers these questions. A few things pop to mind:

First the extent of Christ's work. I believe this would rest in both his being God and man, so his sacrifice would be of infinite value. Also, his identification as the second Adam places him as the federal head of all who are found in him (specifically 1 Cor 15:21, since by man came death by man also came the resurrection of the dead).

Secondly, the spiritual aspect of His death. Jesus' question to his father: "why have you forsaken me" is a soul-wrenching question that speaks far more to his spiritual turmoil. It's astonishing to think of the one, who just a few hours before had been praying to his father, again and again seeking his father's will, would now be cut off from that most divine, infinite and intimate of relationships.

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Hello Josh, welcome to PB!

Some years ago I set about to understand what it really was Jesus suffered on the cross besides just physical suffering, and the most comprehensive account I could find was in The Works of Thomas Brooks, vol 5, pages 76-115 [I would start at (2.) partway down the page]. He bore in His own soul (cf Isaiah 53:10, "thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin") that wrath due us in eternity – the punishment for sinning against an infinite Being, which we never could have paid – which only the God-man could have borne, His divine nature upholding His human nature so as to endure it. This helped me to understand.
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