"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.