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Friday, August 11, 2006

The Tears of Jesus

Here is a quotation from Eugene Peterson's Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places. We used part of this in worship on Sunday at Vintage. I thought I would post the whole quotation here. Enjoy.

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The birth of Jesus provides our entrance into the reality and meaning of creation: this is the world of the Father revealed by Jesus. Jesus shows us that the creation is something to be lived, not just looked at, and the way he did it becomes the way we do it.

In a parallel way, the death of Jesus provides our entrance into the reality and responsibilities of history: mostly, but not always, it is a mess - the daily rounds of failed plans, disappointed relations, political despair, accidents and sickness and neighborhood bullies. In this same mess of history in which we find ourselves, Jesus found himself. The remarkable thing is that he embraced it. This embrace involved him in enormous suffering and an excruciating death.

The life of Jesus is not a happy story, not a success story. What it is is a salvation story. His birth precipitated a bloody massacre of babies; his entrance into public ministry plunged him into a forty-day wilderness ordeal in which he went to the mat with evil, tested to the limit of body and soul. At the moment of what seemed to be a breakthrough understanding of his messianic identity among the disciples at Caesarea Philippi, Jesus' lead disciple, Peter, turned out to have more affinity for Satan than for his Master. And when Jesus was surrounded with the acclaim of Hosannas in that great Passover parade into Jerusalem, certainly a moment of festive celebration is there ever was one, Jesus wept, wept for the suffering of body and the pain of soul in store for these men and women and children who were having such an innocently good time.

History is lubricated by tears. Prayer, maybe most prayer (two thirds of the psalms are laments), is accompanied by tears. All these tears are gathered up and absorbed in the tears of Jesus. (137-138).

1 comment:

Josh Powers said...

Wow.

I just finished EP's "Working the Angles."