Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Shadow Cast by the Cross

“Christ’s salvation is of such a kind that it expresses the ultimate reality of guilt and exposes it in all its stark actuality. It exposes it in terms of the wrath of God, but at the same time manifests in the midst of it all the infinite and overwhelming love of God, and enacts the union of God and man in a union and communion that nothing can undo.

"In forgiveness Jesus Christ offers himself on behalf of and in the place of the sinner, and the gulf of human sin and guilt is spanned, but in throwing a bridge over the abyss, the depth and breadth of it are made still more evident.

"That is why Golgotha casts such a dark shadow over the world. That is why the cross unmasks the inhumanity of man, at once exposing sin and guilt and dealing with them at their worst — in mankind’s ultimate attack upon God in Jesus Christ — and out of the heart of that there come two words that reveal the infinite guilt of humanity and the infinite love of God. ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ ‘Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.’”

—T.F. Torrance, Incarnation: The Person and Life of Christ (Paternoster, 2008), 255, 256

(HT: Mark D. Thompson)

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