The Suffering God

Today may well be the most unusual Good Friday since the first one (or at least in the top 5 unusual Easter’s, if there was such a list). With empty churches running remote services this is a death of Easter. But it’s only Friday… I want to point to two outstanding articles that bring out different aspects of the Easter story in very different but equally, to me, compelling ways.

First is Tom Holland’s essay, When Christ conquered Caesar:

Radically though Nero had sought to demonstrate to the world that the divine might be interfused with the human, the Christians he had tortured to death believed in something infinitely more radical. There was but the one God, and His Son, by becoming mortal and dying the death of a slave, had redeemed all of humanity. Not as an emperor but as a victim he had come. The message was novel beyond the wildest dreams even of a Nero; and was destined to endure long after all his works, and the works of the Caesars, had crumbled into dust.

Then read Nijay Gupta’s reflection on when his daughter had cancer, Seeing My Child Face Death Made Me Rethink the Passion:

I can likewise imagine that the more God loved and loves his Son, the more that his heart breaks over and over for all the pain and tears shed in the world. We might theologically refer to his sacrifice as “once for all” (Heb. 7:27), but we also have to believe God lives with the eternal memory of the hurts and sorrows.

And lastly, I deeply appreciate how much The Bible Project guys pack into a short space. Here’s their excellent video on sacrifice and atonement.

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