After addressing his disciples’ troubled hearts and promising to send them a Helper, Jesus asks them to rejoice with him because he will soon return to his Father. a For the past 33 years, Jesus had bore the form of a servant, having made himself nothing. b Jesus, who had existed with the Father in perfect, loving union from eternity past, will finally reunite with his Father in their co-equal, “God is love,” c relationship. Will you rejoice with me, he asks. “If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father.”
To understand Jesus’ excitement about returning to the Father, d we turn to no lighter subject than the doctrine of the Trinity, as gleaned from the writings of Jonathan Edwards. We are reminded that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have existed from all eternity. Jesus is begotten of the Father (not born). As Pastor John Piper put it, Jesus “eternally stands forth in a perfect image and radiance of the Father. His nature has an ‘exact imprint’ in the Son. His glory has a full ‘radiance’ in the Son. e So they are equally God, of the same divine nature, but different in role…”
This is helpful. I plan on using this illustration when I teach my 3rd graders this fall. We always begin our year reviewing foundational truths, one being the Trinity. It’s still being roughed out in my mind, but I think I’ll use a mirror to discuss a perfect reflection and to discuss the original that is needed to “beget” the reflection of the original; as long as the one exists the other exists.
Edwards goes on to discuss the pure delight between the Father and Son which proceeds as the third person of the Trinity, namely, the Holy Spirit. “Between the Father and Son exists a mutual love, joy, and delight, a ‘pure act,’ or the ‘Deity in act,’ which is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the love of the Father and Son for each other, the love that ‘quickens and enlivens’ creation and created spirits, and comforts God’s people.”
This relationship is beautifully seen at Christ’s baptism. When Jesus comes up from the water, the heavens open and Jesus sees the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and the delight is obvious as the voice declares, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” f
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. g