Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Cross

The cross was not the defeat of Christ at the hands of the powers: it was the defeat of the powers at the hands - yes, the bleeding hands - of Christ.[1]

The whole biblical drama, . . . the whole tradition of the embrace of pain - from the initiation of covenant to the devastating events of Passion Week – declares that evil is defeated when it is allowed to expend itself in demonic fury on that which it hates the most, the Source of all good. On the servant of the Lord, in the Messiah’s death on the cross, that demonic fury is let loose. The cross was "the victory of weakness over strength, the victory of love over hatred. It was the victory that consisted in Jesus' allowing evil to do its worst to him, and never attempting to fight it on its own terms. When the power of evil had made its last possible move, Jesus had still not been beaten by it. He bore the weight of the world’s evil to the end, and outlasted it."[2]

This is what C.S. Lewis calls "deeper magic from the dawn of time" in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (London: Fontana, 1950), chap. 15.[3]

[1] N. T. Wright, Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Discipleship (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994), p. 19.

[2] N. T. Wright, New Tasks for a Renewed Church (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1992), p. 72. as quoted in Brian J. Walsh and Sylvia C. Keesmaat, Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2004), p. 111.

[3] Brian J. Walsh and Sylvia C. Keesmaat, Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2004), p. 111.

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