(I am reading Cross Shattered Christ by Stanley Hauerwas for the next seven days of lent. One chapter a day, one blog post a day.)
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? – Matthew 27:46
maybe god even suffers with us, which some seem to think it is comforting given the fact it is very clear God is incapable of doing anything about our suffering. P60
We think we know horror, in living memory, I have seen, through the TV and media, the horror of senseless bombs and wars. Hauerwas questions our understanding of Jesus suffering and how we relate that to our own suffering and Gods understanding of this. For Hauerwas our understanding of ‘God suffered so he understands my suffering’ is an indication of a failure to truly regard Jesus as God as he hangs on the cross.
Christ can only be suffering from a position of perfect love, the relationship of the trinity. This perfect love is what provides the basis of a self emptying of Gods own Christ to the point of death on a cross. This behaviour in turn emphasises Gods otherness, and renders our attempts to understand God in human terms as idolatry. Hauerwas says “God is most revealed when he seems to us the most hidden” (p65) with our understanding of God being unravelled we struggle with a God who refuses to use violence to save us. A God who through his actions subverts our understandings of power and authority.
God doesn’t let our relationship to him be determined by death or sin, Christ steps in to the abandonment on our behalf and in our place. Not to satisfy some kind of bloodlust God justice powerplay, but rather it is an outworking of God’s Justice through self sacrifice.
We are spared because God refuses to have us lost. P66
I think i enjoyed todays reading.