Culture At Large

The Suffering Dust-Shaper

It's such a little word.  Suffered.

"He suffered, under Pontius Pilate."  How can such a little word capture the depths of abuse that Christ experienced?

He suffered his whole life on earth, being by nature God, yet emptied and poured out into humanity, bound to a body forevermore. The Creator and Law-Giver, now squeezing himself inside his tiny creation and submitting to live under its rules.

Itinerant from birth, chased from town to town, persecuted, tempted, misunderstood, rejected, mocked, betrayed, beaten, abandoned in death.

He sustained completely all the wrath and alienation from God that we deserve as natural haters of God.

Yet he suffered for two goals.

First, that by his suffering he might receive and absorb, like a sacrificed lamb of old, the awfulness that is ours, thereby setting us completely free from the justice we deserve.

Second, that he might gain for us, as one who remained fully faithful to God, God's grace and eternal life, continuing and fulfilling the promises of God since Eden.

This is God himself, the passionate dust-shaper, suffering the consequences on behalf of his creation, so that his creatures might live in community with him, now and forever.

Thanks, thanks, thanks be to God!

Topics: Culture At Large, Theology & The Church, Faith, Christmas & Easter