I just finished writing this week's newsletter article and figured I'd share it:
“To ‘see’ Jesus as the Christ, God’s Word incarnate, is not to gaze at him, but to see the point: to know oneself called, in absolute dependence upon the mystery of God, to follow him. And of course, we do so largely in the dark.”
Nicholas Lash, Believing Three Ways in One God
I saw a little piece of video from “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” this week that reminded me of this quote. Aslan, the lion, the Christ figure, is dead on a stone table, slain by the White Witch in the place of Edmund, who is guilty of the capital crime of betraying his family. The once-fierce lion looks pathetic in death, battered and bloodied, with his glorious mane shaved off. At his side are Lucy and Susan, the two Daughters of Eve, wondering what to do with themselves and how the fight against the forces of evil can be won, but also knowing the fight must go on. Finally they leave, to go add their gifts to the battle. As they take their first few steps, as the sun comes up, as their hearts are heavy within them and they wonder how life can go on…the table breaks, and the lion lives and suddenly life is in their grasp again.
Lucy and Susan spent that night in the dark, following Aslan to the table, witnessing his sacrifice, and mourning his loss. They did not understand, anymore than the Witch did, the “deep magic”: if an innocent offers himself in place of the guilty, even death is turned back.
We follow Christ ourselves mostly in the dark. God is a mystery to us: we know about God, we know God in our own way, but still there is that which we do not understand, and God continually surprising us, amazing us, stretching us and shocking us with grace and mercy and the miracle of death turned back on itself. This is life, this is redemption…this is the mystery of God, Father, Son and Spirit.