In the previous posts we have looked at both the major Biblical metaphors that are used to describe the cross of Christ and the major Theological metaphors. We have also looked at the nature and concept of metaphor.
Christus Victor Model
Moral Influence Model
Penal Substitution Model
(To be sure there are probably more than just these eight.)
The point of all of this is to illustrate the multiple ways that both the biblical authors and the Church have grappled with the death of Christ. And to press us to likewise grapple with what it means for our God to die on a cross.
I don’t want to get into the myriad ways these metaphors work together and implore us to become more like Christ. That is for you to explore. For now, all I want to say is that I think that these metaphors are best understood as complimentary and incomplete. In many respects, what God did on the cross, and in the cosmos at the same time, is beyond understanding… but not completely, and not to the point of being unintelligible. We have metaphors that make sense. We need to be aware of them and then use them, all of them. (Maybe some more than others, but all none-the-less.) And they need to influence how we behave, as all good theology does.