Thursday, April 1, 2010

Good Friday: "A Crescendo of Wonder"

John Witvliet of Calvin College up in the Mitten has written a beautiful (if perhaps over-stuffed) piece about the radical wonder and awe which ought to be brought about through Good Friday's solmenity as we "behold the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

"A Crescendo of Wonder"

"Making peace through the blood of his cross" is like saying that a nuclear missile has become an olive-branch, that Guantanamo has become a garden of healing, that a sword has been turned into a plowshare, that a tank has been turned into a tractor. The very thought of it leaves us weak in the knees with astonishment. . . .

Our minds wander off trying to imagine what kind of cosmos we live in—where the shameful death of an innocent man can serve as a payment for sin, a ransom for the captive, a conquest of evil, a source of healing, a sacrifice to end all sacrifice (what a gift—all these mutually correcting scriptural images). Imagining that kind of world is enough to make our minds ache, given that we swim in the waters of a culture where debt generates more debt, and violence generates more violence. It takes a remarkable conversion of the imagination to see the world in the Bible's way: a world where justice and mercy do not exist in tension, where "righteousness and peace kiss each other," where the death and resurrection of the Son of God can re-order the moral foundations of the universe.

1 comment:

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, written with the verve and sophistication you might expect from a good Calvinist. Gets at the profundity of what happens in Jesus' death, burial and resurrection. Nothing less than a new creation with ramifications for all creation even now. Yes, rather heavy writing, or writing that hardly lets you catch your breath, though that may well be a reflection on me and my culture, shallowness, etc.

The Lord is risen!!!