28 Apr God is Dead… the Provocation of Good Friday and Easter Day
The cross and the resurrection are a double provocation.
First there is the shock of the cross. In Jesus, Word made flesh, we are confronted with the Divine who is utterly humble and self-giving, who is willing to endure our violence rather than inflict it. In the cross we are confronted with the God who does not embody power like we do with violence, coercion, manipulation or force.
The second shock is that this Divine energy which is so radically humble and self-giving is not actually defeated by our violence or hate or murder. The sword, ultimately, doesn’t win.
The cross and resurrection are not intellectual ideas to reject or accept.
The cross and resurrection are a provocative invitation in which we are challenged to reconsider our assumptions about the nature of the Divine, about power, and about how we might actually do life. The implications are profound.
Reflecting on the provocation of the God of the cross, Rev Dr Sarah Bachelard recently wrote:
this ‘…unmask(s) our idolatry, our ideology of divinity. The omnipotent, omniscient, mighty and transcendent concept of God, the God whose death was so confidently proclaimed by Nietzsche and those who followed him, is an idol. Its pretensions to divinity were exposed by the God of Jesus Christ centuries ago. For this God’s power is not just human power writ large, invulnerable and untouched by suffering. It is the transforming power of merciful, self-giving, vulnerable love.’
In the cross and resurrection we discover the falsity of our superman gods. What relief – and challenge – this brings.
Blessings for you as we continue to celebrate and wrestle with the mystery of Easter.
Rev Dr Sally Douglas
To read more of Bachelard’s article go to: http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2017/04/15/4654043.htm