Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Guest post by Mark DeRaud: The Atonement Part 2: "God Did Not Kill Jesus"

I  (left) am honored to host a new series by guest poster Mark DeRaud  (right)
Click Mark's name under "topical diving" at right for more on Mark
Part I, click here
Part II below

The Atonement II
artwork by Mark DeRaud 
by Mark DeRaud God Did Not Kill Jesus As Protestants we tend to look upon our crucified Christ as having been "smitten of God". (Isaiah 53). The "Atonement" of Mosaic Law, however, reveals a different narrative. The atonement reveals that we have become like friends of Job, gathered together in our worship, ascribing to God the brutality of our accuser, seeing in Christ's tortured disfigurement the wrath of God 'meant for us.' The prophet however, is revealing as much about those of us who view Him as he is about the coming messiah. The prophet is revealing our blindness. We will 'esteem' Him as smitten of God, that He was crushed by God, that He bore stripes across His back at the hand of God. We will esteem Jesus as smitten by God because the character of God has been disfigured by our reasonableness. God is first sovereign we reckon. Just. His perfect righteousness warring against His perfect mercy. It seems reasonable for us to reduce the personality of God to a bundle of abstracted absolutes jockeying for balance if not dominance. Among them justice agitating against mercy. God has no regard for us. There is nothing about us He deems worthy to preserve. There is nothing we can do to move Him on our behalf. His absolute justice is
Art by Mark; click here
then heard. Ah. But He is also absolutely merciful, but He can't just forgive. Justice will not let Him. God is not sovereign after all. Christ then will bear God's severe displeasure. God does this willingly. He resists His absolute wrath, or rather, He redirects His absolute wrath against His Son. "Look upon my tortured child. What I desired to do to you, I have done to my own Son! I am satisfied with His blood." But sacrifices, we note, were not tortured. Sacrifices were not brutalized in the atonement sacrifice, in God's covenant Law, meant to instruct us. It is Satan who wars against the children of Adam. It is the Serpent who will bruise the heal of he Son of Man....then lets us blame God, like friends counseling Job. As friends of Job, we look upon the foreshadowing of Christ's sacrifice in the atonement ritual as punishment meted out in a court of God's law. When the High Priest brings the blood of the sacrifice into the Holy of Holies, to us we hear the ritual saying: "See, we have meted out your punishment for sin. Here is the blood you require. Thank you for accepting animal blood instead of ours." However, a different narrative for the atonement had been established by God, foreshadowed in His covenant with Noah. Noah could eat of every living thing but Noah could not eat flesh with the blood. God claimed the blood as His own. At Adam's first breath, the Spirit of life entered through Adam's nostrils, coursed into his lungs, and through the lungs, God's breath of life entered his blood. Adam, by God's breath, stood in the image of God. After Adam's sin, after the fall and its disastrous consequence resulting in the flood, God gave a familiar command and promise to Noah. God bound Himself to saving the earth and He claimed for Himself the life in His children. Like in the garden, Noah could eat of all living

things, but like the Tree of Life having been refused to Adam and Eve, God kept the life of the animal for Himself. Flesh could not be eaten with blood, because life was in the blood and this God claimed for Himself. That God required the blood for Himself, did He require it for bloodlust? Or for remembrance of what and whom He had lost in the garden through Satan's deceit? The "atonement" ritual argues for the latter. "Atonement" is a remembrance and an expressed yearning by God to restore what He had lost. Us.

-by Mark DeRaud

Previous posts:

Part 1:" The View from Genesis:Abraham's Child"

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