(Another unorganized post…)
Mercy, wrath, love, justice, etc. are all the same attribute of God (divine simplicity); it’s just that humans use different words to describe our experience of God’s attributes.
But love isn’t just an attribute. John writes that God is love. This is not true of the others. God is not anger. God is not justice. God is not wrath.
This means that all other attributes of God are simply manifestations of his love.
God is pure love. So everything that comes from him is an expression of love. So if wrath comes from God, it is an expression of love.
But this isn’t an attempt to distort what we mean by love.
“Even the wrath of God is simply an extension of His love. It is a big, fat “No!” to sinfulness, because of how it destroys and molests His children. God’s wrath has nothing to do with hating us. It has to do with hating the sinfulness that was destroying us. Even God’s wrath is for you, not against you.” – John Crowder
God’s wrath is against sin, not people (Romans 1:18); He loves people!
The cross didn’t satisfy God’s wrath; it changed our view of God. It revealed that humanity was the violent one, not God. It wasn’t God’s wrath that Jesus drank; it was ours! As Andre Rabe puts it, “we were the angry deities that needed to be satisfied.”
“It is on the cross that Jesus put to death the violent portrayal of God in the Old Testament and revealed once and for all that God is not like that.” – Jeremy Myers
“Wrath designates God’s fervent reaction to human wickedness. God’s refusal to tolerate, compromise with, or indulge evil…wrath is not a chronic case of ill temper on God’s part but a measured commitment to act against evil and injustice in order to contain it and destroy it…it is not so much a matter of direct, individually tailored punitive intervention as it is a matter of measured withdrawal of his protective influence and control, a refusal to intervene to stem the deleterious effects of human rebellion.” – Christ Marshall
“The cross was the place of Divine Agape not divine anger! The only anger there that day was the anger of sinful humanity unleashed on Pure Love. … The cross of Jesus Christ is the most pure expression of love that has ever or will ever exist. In that place of propitiation, Pure Agape submitted Himself to the ferocity of sinful humanity while at the same time absorbing our sin into Himself so that we would be delivered from its consequence.” – Steve McVey
Meaning of Greek word often translated “wrath”:
Take a look at the second definition and you’ll see that wrath can be “any violent emotion.”
The word “wrath” doesn’t have to mean anger at all. It actually can refer to ANY intense excitement – including love. Of course, if our view is that our God is a Judge who is obsessed with right & wrong in our lives, we will automatically think His wrath is an expression of anger.
Experience of the intensity of love
“God’s wrath and judgment is against anything that brings separation, against anything that tries to reduce the pure and intimate relationship He designed, to something less. It is exactly because He loves man that He judges sin. His judgment is not against true man as such, but against anything that would reduce man to less than His original design. God will not settle for an inferior relationship.” (unknown)
“The cross did nothing about the wrath of God. The wrath of God was connected to the Old Covenant system, which existed and continued until its final destruction in 70AD (Hebrew 8:13). God judged the Old Covenant and those that clung to the sinking ship drowned with it. Those that turned to the New Covenant of Christ were saved from the Day of Wrath.” – Jonathan Welton
Even the destruction of Jerusalem was a passive form of judgment. God didn’t say “I want to destroy Jerusalem so I’m going to make the Romans attack it!” Rather, God knew that if the Jews refused to believe in Jesus, stuck with their false and violent idea of messiahship (in which the Messiah would beat up the Romans and make the Jews the strongest nation) and continued in their rebellion against Rome, they would be destroyed.
Judgment of Light
Bible Threatenings Explained