Monday, November 13, 2006

The Darkest Day

Cheryl begins:
"I believe that what separates humanity from everything else in this world - spaghetti, binder paper, deap-sea creatures, edelweiss and Mount McKinley - is that humanity alone has the capacity at any given moment to commit all possible sins. Even those of us who try to live a good and true life remain as far away from grace as the Hillside Strangler or any demon who ever tried to poison the village well. What happened that morning only confirms this.
She writes in reflection upon a High School Shooting in Douglas Coupland's Hey Nostradamus! She could as well be refering to the darkest day in history. Not a human atrocity but the day Jesus died. That day showed the great depth of human sin more clearly than any other day. Not in our capacity to kill the Son of God - though that was an act of great evil committed by man. But rather by the very necessity of the day. The necessity of the Father striking down his Son as a substitute for our sin, under his perfect wrath. That was the darkest day of all.

In his book of good news about Jesus Mark portrays Jesus dying under the cloud of God's judgement. Darkness covers the land declaring the wrath and curse of God. But it is the cry of Jesus that speaks loudest: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" as Jesus is cut off from his Father. The perfect Son abandoned by his Father - the Trinity torn apart as Jesus drinks dry the cup of his Father's wrath.

Why? So that humanity, sinful to the core, could be welcomed into relationship with that same Trinity God. The curtain of the temple torn apart to open the way. A new day would follow. A day when sin-scarred bearers of God's image would drink God's other cup. The cup of life - the cup of Jesus' blood, of life and the sure promise of life. Death dies and a new life is made possible. Life forgiven, to be lived in union with Christ with a new heart, a renewed image, washed clean, made new.
"This the power of the cross:
Son of God, slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross"
-- The Power of the Cross, Getty/Townend, 2005