It confused me when I encountered the word economical to explain passages in the Bible like Matthew 27:46 such that when the Lord was saying, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”, He did not actually mean that He wasn’t God but that they were only separated economically but not essentially. He is still God but at that time, just God essentially but not economically. How can that be? How can something be essentially the same if it had already changed? To me, it sounded like alchemy.
But the Lord must be sovereign to put me in a course that will be dealing so much with matter that it is very basic to know the transformation of matter from one physical state to another. And this one is quite simple.
Just think about water. When we say “water” maybe we can directly think of the liquid water because solid water to us is “ice” and gaseous water is “water vapor”. But all three, despite being physically different from the each other, are just composed of the same molecule – water, or specifically/chemically saying, that is H2O (an oxygen with two hydrogens bound to it). The H2O molecules in ice are closely held together and are not free to move unlike that of liquid water in which they are loosely held together and freer to move but not as free as that when it becomes water vapor in which the molecules can be “assumed” to collide elastically. Hence, we can say that the three (ice, liquid water, and water vapor) are essentially the same but economically separate.
When God incarnated it’s like ice melting to liquid and when He became the life-giving Spirit it’s like water evaporating to thin air. But this analogy is not quite exact as the Father, Son and Spirit coexist and coinhere. It’s really absurd to think of a substance where ice, liquid water, and water vapor exist and the same time and as the same substance. Nevertheless, phase changes of matter simplified the difference of “economical” and “essential” for me.
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P.S. I owe this thought from a dear sister who is a biology student and who shared to me how it amazed her that the processes God had undergone is like the transformation of water from ice to vapor.