Sunday, May 17, 2020

If possible, let this cup pass from me

As I've remarked on more than one occasion, our ignorance of the future cuts both ways. On the one hand, if we knew the future, we'd make different decisions. In that sense, the future we knew was a counterfactual future. 

Suppose, though, we couldn't change the future we knew because we only knew what was going to happen, but not where, when and how. Then our foreknowledge of heartbreaking things that await us would shadow us from our youth, robbing us of the ability to enjoy the present. 

The reaction of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane is a formidable example. As God Incarnate, Jesus doesn't have the luxury of ignorance regarding the future. He doesn't have that buffer. He knows what awaits him. From the time he was old enough to be capable of fully comprehending the prospect, he knew what lay in store for him down to the last literally excruciating detail. 

This also illustrates the way in which the two natures intertwine. His divine nature is the source of his foreknowledge. His divine nature informs his human nature. But he suffers in his human nature. 

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