6/9/2008 8:39 AM
Here at the center, biblical images explode. Rainbows touch down, but they don’t break through. The “scandal of particularity” is that this one did. The eternal Hope “became flesh and dwelt among us…; [and] we beheld his glory….” (John 1:14) Here is the grounding of the Hope toward which the whole narrative moves. So another biblical figure that furnished a memorable Christian symbol. “We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor…” (Hebrews 6:19). In yet another, Shalom happens; ”he is our peace.” ( Ephesians 2:14)
Here at the center, the “sure and steadfast” warrant for the third kind of hope happens. It manifests itself in a story within the Story. The intersection of the Word of hope with the world is its first chapter, the Incarnation. Then comes the living out of Life Together in the example, teaching, preaching and healings of Jesus. But to this embodiment of God’s purposes comes, yet again, the world’s No!—the crucifixion of Hope. This time it is met with God’s Yes! On the cross God’s broken heart takes into itself the judgment we deserve. As Luther had it, the mercy absorbs the wrath, and so the suffering love of God on Golgotha for the sins of the world.
And Yes! again on Easter morning. Resurrection announces and effects the victory over the last enemies, the powers of evil and death, this said as well as any by Karl Barth:
"The world in which we live is the place Jesus Christ rose from the dead….For just as Christ, according to the teaching of the whole of the New Testament, has already borne away sin and destroyed death, so also has He already (according to Col. 2:15) completely disarmed those “principalities and powers”, and made a spectacle of them in His own triumph in order finally to tread them down under His feet on the day of Hs coming again (1 Cor. 15:15)."
Thus the final warrant for the final Hope seen by the eyes of faith.
After resurrection comes ascension in this tale within the Tale being told. Ascent to the throne means that now Christ rules. Again, it takes the eyes of faith to see it, given the brokenness of the world seen by the eyes of sight. Yet there are signs of that new kingly rule, seeable even by human discerning. We look to one of them as we move to the next chapter in the pilgrimage of Hope, the descent of fires of the Spirit from the ascended Sun of God.
Copyright ©2008 Gabriel Fackre
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