Based on various references from the writings of Ellen White, I have developed and shared the thought that the same separation that ended Jesus’ life was experienced by the other two members of the Trinity. This does not take away from Jesus’ experience but rather adds to develop the picture we have of what the Trinity had to sacrifice to save humanity.

In that thought is stressed that it is the love for one another that the Trinity shares that caused the separation to be so dramatic that it ended Jesus’ life. Since they are love, it is hard for us to understand that they don’t just have love one for another–they are love. The love that they have for one another, or rather the love that they are for one another, is the same love bestowed toward humanity. God’s love–the same love powerful enough that separation causes death–is the love He has toward me.

On the cross, it was sin that caused the separation that killed Jesus. And when I sin, I don’t just hurt God (“hurt” is not a strong enough word)…I inflict “separation that causes death.” The fact that the wages of sin is death is not simply a reflection of God’s justice but a fact of life–a result rather than a punishment.

The profundity is that if separation from God due to sin is enough to kill mortals, imagine what it does to God (an immortal). When He says, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked” I believe Him! The loss of one person must be as painful to Him as when He had to separate from Jesus! Every time I sin I cause that same pain to God. It is that thought that causes me to cry in sorrow. It is that thought that makes me never want to sin again. My sins are not some arbitrary breaking of a law; they each have a personal and extreme effect on God, not just me.

Stephen Baker is a member of College View Church in Lincoln, Nebraska.