This is one in a series of 50 articles, each of which address one of the “Top 50 Questions Christians Can’t Answer“. The questions tend to be written in combative form. The answers given in these articles will attempt not to return the combative tone, but to address the underlying objection.
30 – If God and Jesus are the same, having the same mind, knowledge and power, then why would Jesus beg himself in the garden of Gethsemane, to spare himself from having to be crucified? Furthermore, why would Jesus ask himself why he has forsaken himself by allowing himself to be crucified?
If God and Jesus were the same, having the same mind, knowledge, and power, then there is no reason to distinguish between the two. God’s name would be Yeshua, or Jesus’ name would be Yahweh. The doctrine of the Trinity is that they are “three persons, one essence.” This means that, while God and Jesus share the same basic power and values, that they operate from distinct perspectives. When Jesus voices his suffering to God, God may be aware of the suffering Jesus is undergoing, but he is not experiencing it in the same way. Just so, when Jesus intercedes for sinful humans with God, he may do so because he has uniquely experienced the fragility and temptations that humans must undergo in a way that the Father has not. The value of love that Jesus expresses in doing so may be identical to the value of love that the Father holds, but Jesus expresses this love in a way that only his human experiences may allow.