2.10.2007

The Scandal of the Cross (3)

As we continue to examine the meaning of the death of Jesus on a cross, I would like to turn next to the word-images that appear in the New Testament narrative. What images did the authors of the Bible use, and what are the implications of those images?

The Biblical authors found it necessary to construct multiple ways of explaining the cross, ways which where bound up in their time and place. All I'll do here is list what those images are, and offer an all too brief word on each. If you are so inclined there is more than you will ever want to read about each one if you click on the link. If I have missed some images used by biblical authors to explain the cross of Christ, by all means let me know.

Redemption
This word gets at the heart of salvation. This doctrine not-so-briefly sums up our standing with God.

Sacrifice
This word gets at the nature and means of God's redemptive work on the cross.

Revelation
The link I have provided for this one is less helpful. Revelation as it applies to Jesus Christ gets at the idea that in Jesus we see most full the heart and reality of God the Father. In other words, Jesus revels God to humanity. Jesus' whole life does this, but nothing so vividly as his death. The death of Jesus illustrates or revels the love of God in a way nothing else can.

Reconciliation
This doctrine sums up what has been accomplished by the other three points. Most Christians are aware of their personal reconciliation with God, however what is taught less often, is the way and degree to which Christ death has the potential to reconcile all things, and in fact one day will, on that day when the lion will lie down with the lamb. To be specific, race relations, economic affairs and humanities relationship with its environment, God's creation, are just three areas that are in need of immense reconciliation. The death of Jesus makes these things possible, in part because of the example Christ displayed for us but also for other spiritual and theological reasons as well.

1 comment:

Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov said...

I'm about to stop reading these liberal posts. Are you really saying that God wants us to care about the environment? I thought Revelation teaches that it is all going to be destroyed in the end any way. (Man, my tongue is so far in my cheek that it looks like I have a case of the mumps).