Passion and Atonement -- The Sword To The Heart

[Note: The contents page for this series can be found here. The previous entry, Chapter 56, can be found here.]

[This entry constitutes Chapter 57.]

God. Is. Dead.

God is dead!! Just as we always knew: He can die! Now we are free, free of Him, free to be the gods we want to be, free to be our own laws, our own inheritance! Free to decide what is good or evil!

We live, though God is dead! We have overthrown the Highest, beat the Invincible! ...well ...we didn't actually 'beat' Him; He gave up the game. But we always wanted to make Him give up on us anyway, yes? Then we would show Him that we didn't need Him, that we could outlast Him!

Ah, but this is even better! We showed Him that His hope is futile, that the Truth which surrenders itself will be digested and expelled as waste! He put Himself at the mercy of His own creations, and we killed Him!

What did the Great Fool think?? That people would just fawn over Him for showing up late to the party!? That after all everyone has been through, He could just tell us He loves us, and we'd all have a happy group hug!? He couldn't even keep it that simple!--He had to open His big mouth one too many times, and stick His nose into the business of people whom He's supposed to be letting do what they want... and we snipped it off! Along with every other part of Him!

Here is Your world, God! Hope You liked how it turned out!


It will happen, sooner or later.

God will come, to let us know some things about Him we need to hear, but which are hard for us to hear as we are.

And we are going to kill Him.

And He is going to let us.

Because it fulfills all fair-togetherness, all righteousness, that He should pay: for loving His enemies enough to let them stay enemies, to let them mess up His story, to let them hurt the innocent--even Himself.

He has given us the holiest of Swords to wield: the dignity of action itself.

And we will drive it straight through His heart.

How? Could be any of several ways.

He will probably set it up so that it shall hurt Him more than any other execution of the time: the maximum penalty.

But I think He will also want to set it up in a way that makes a statement, a symbol.

As a Man, He will suffer the pain of His world to the uttermost; something He cannot do, unless He becomes a Man. As the eternal God, He can, and does, eternally and omnisciently know our sufferings; but only as a Man, can He die like a man, like any of us who suffer in His world.

So, I suspect the symbol of His death will be something that reminds us of a man dying in pain; which is what we suffer, in this world of enemies whom He loves; which is what He will suffer, in this world of enemies whom He loves.

The symbol of His death may also be a symbol of rebellion, in two or three different ways: God, slain for loving rebels, slain unjustly as a 'rebel'--maybe even as a rebel against God.

It wouldn't even surprise me if the death is so horrible, that a whole new word has to be invented for it.

A word like 'excruciating', for example.

Whatever it will be, this is the throne on which we need to see Omnipotent Power reigning: not as something He gets out of the way and puts behind Him, but as the enacted expression of Who He truly is--and of what the Omnipotent Power truly is, despite our first (and certainly our sinful) impressions. This throne of self-sacrifice for the sake of even His enemies, for the sake of all reality, will be the Throne of God Most High, not only at a particular time in our history (though that, too), but in the final revelation: and in the eonian judgment.

For whatever we may do to Him, even if we murder Him in our sins: God is still God.

We can smother His life and bury it under our sin, when He comes to us here on Earth. And He will let us; because it is only fair--it will 'fulfill all righteousness'--that God Himself, at Whose feet is laid the existence of injustice, also suffers from injustice, to the maximum penalty one of His creatures can suffer.

But we cannot snuff out God Eternal.

We can kill the Son, the Incarnate action of God Himself, as far as any person can be killed. We can deny the Action of God, insofar as He ever lets His Action be denied.

But... a person can only be killed so far.

When I, who am a person, shall die, I won't become nothing. That wouldn't be love or justice to me.

When God dies, as a Man, He won't become nothing, either.

Whatever injustice we show to Him, He will not leave justice unfulfilled for Himself.

And it will be important to make this point, too. Not merely to show that 'something is there after death'--we will probably already have some ideas about that, although this might give us some better clues.

Rather, to show that we can do whatever we want, to God...

...except defeat Him utterly.

God is the House Edge. And He is going to play a winning game.

Even when He loses.

The devils, with their own advantages, may get the first clue; or they may, in their selfish delusions, be the last to figure it out.

If you kill God, and He doesn't stay dead--then you might as well give up...

...and go home!

There will be other reasons for Him to make a fairly quick return. He will have been saying some rather odd things; and He will probably have been killed as some sort of traitor (unjustly accused) by the current authorities.

But if He comes back, from the dead, alive and well--better than well--alive, yet obviously, in some way, more alive than He was before...

...then, what does that say, to the people who knew Him, who heard Him?

He was on “God's side” all along. God has vindicated Him--God has vindicated Himself!--even if He did die a cursed death.

He would have to come back quickly enough for His followers to link it properly to His death, probably in some culturally symbolic way.

And, if He is concerned (as I expect) to show that He loves the Nature in which He died and will go the farthest distance to save it, then He will come back, not in a merely mental way, nor with an altogether new and 'spiritual' body--much less as a rotting zombie!--but with the body in which He died, raised and transformed: saved from the groaning with which Nature groans until now as if in childbirth!

This would be the first-fruits promise from Him: the promise that love and justice shall surely be fulfilled, however long it takes: the promise that, as He has suffered with the innocent, so the innocent shall be vindicated!

And that, as He has suffered with the guilty, going down into the pit with all of us sinners, so the guilty shall be raised as well: and raised with this in view, that sooner or later God shall be altogether in all--even in His enemies.

He might decide to come back immediately on clouds and with thunder. He might walk up to the people who executed Him and say, "Hi! Guess what, guys?"

Or, then again, He might not.

The whole point is still to encourage us, as we are, to co-operate with Him.

If He just came back and wrapped up the whole show right then, it would be almost the same as saying that He might as well have done that from the first.

We, His creations, deserve to have a chance to work with Him, here, in our lives, to set things straight--starting with us ourselves. This Nature is His; He loves it; He loves us. He isn't going to pull the plug on it; and He isn't going to simply pull rank and run things directly for us. He wants to work with us; or, more precisely, He wants us to work with Him.

Admittedly, it might come to pulling rank, sooner or later, if we, as a species, insist on messing things up; or if the devils who refuse to get A Clue insist on ruining everything of His they can get their claws into. Really, there isn't much difference between a rebel and a rebel.

If a line is ever crossed (and I expect this line will eventually be crossed), past which we cannot get ourselves out of trouble with only some help from Him; then He will have to intervene to the maximum.

But I expect Him to let it play out as far as possible, so that everyone, even the devils, will have the best chance to learn the lesson.

True, it will likely involve the innocent (or the relatively innocent, like me), suffering for the sake of the guilty (the ones who are sinners, like me).

But in principle, that won't be any different from before.

What will be different is this: we will have heard, many of us, that God has Himself truly paid, for letting us ruin our lives and the lives of others. We, some of us, will know the price for our sins: that God Himself voluntarily suffers with the innocent and with the guilty, reckoning Himself along with us, in hope of a Day of the Lord to come when all His creation shall be raised to vindication.

We will want to let others know, that despite all appearances, all pain, all evil, even at the apparent end of hope:

God does truly love the world.

Including His enemies, too.

[Last: after word, fore word]


Jason Pratt said…
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(Posted on Holy Saturday, Easter Week 2011, in commemoration of the day when God Himself rested.)

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