There are many misconceptions about Father God. We are told that He is simply wrathful, distant, and cold. We have been given a picture of Jesus standing between mankind and the Father—begging the Father not to destroy humanity and then taking the wrath upon Himself. Many have seen Jesus as the kind, merciful, and compassionate part of the godhead and the Father as judgmental, aloof, and angry. This view has permeated the belief systems of many when, in reality, this is not the case.
The reality is that Jesus is the perfect reflection of the Father. When Jesus’ disciples ask to see the Father, He replies, Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (John 14:9). It's not just that Jesus and the Father are one in essence, but they have the same nature as well. Hebrews 1:3 says, “The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being.” He is the exact mirror image of the Father.
I have made this statement before, but I believe we too often limit Jesus’ advent to simply being about saving us from eternity in Hell. That was absolutely a huge part of the reason that Christ came to earth, but it is a piece of a larger whole.
Jesus came to reveal the Father (John 17:25-26). At the point in time that Jesus came to earth, the Israelites had lived in a world of prophetic silence for hundreds of years. There were no words from God. The Father was a distant idea in their minds. But then Jesus breaks through the silence and reveals to a people who had become pharisaical and works-oriented what the heart of God really looks like.
Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19). And what do we see Jesus—and therefore the Father—doing? He was hanging out with the lowest sinners around, the ones we are so adamant that He is wrathful towards. He was healing the sick as well as the brokenhearted. He was weeping with the hurting. He was comforting those who were mourning. He was destroying the works of the Devil. The only people Jesus was wrathful towards were the ones who were insisting that He should be more wrathful towards “sinners.” How ironic!
Does God have righteous wrath? Absolutely. He has a perfect hatred for sin. But as we see in Jesus, his anger was more often aimed at the Enemy and the sin which were robbing the sinner than at the person committing the act. When everyone else wanted to stone the sinners, Jesus knelt beside them and released them from bondage. This is not hyper-grace. He did not leave them in their sin, but released them from their bondage so that they could “go and sin no more.”
I think we have misplaced God’s motivation. I believe we have it flip-flopped. Staunch religion would have us believe that God is good because He is righteous, when I believe He is righteous because He is good. God’s goodness is not an outflow of His righteousness, but instead His righteousness is and outflow of His goodness.
Even in saving us from Hell Jesus was revealing what the Father is really like. He is more merciful than He is wrathful. He is kind, compassionate, and deeply cares about His sons and daughters. He is intricately concerned with the affairs of mankind and desires intimate relationship with his creations.