Students of the New Testament can’t help but impose their understanding of triumph on the story of the Crucifixion. Desperate to find hope in human strength, they rush to what they see as the happy ending in Mark, minimizing the lengthy stretch of darkness, cruelty, and ridicule endured by Jesus. Why? Because in the end, we are not interested in God’s victory, but our own. We do not trust in the Lord. We want what we want for ourselves with no regard for his mission.
When we leap to the end of the story, we fail to see the true victory in the Lord’s defeat: his steadfast proclamation of Scripture to the very end, his unshakable trust in his Father’s will, his hope against hope in his Father’s cause at his own expense, the centurion’s—and the world’s—conversion through his obedience to Torah, and finally, the overthrow of Caesar by means of the Lord’s teaching.
In the midst of the darkness, we do not trust in these victories because our first priority is to save our own skin. We want to see Jesus win in worldly terms because we want to win. We want him to come down from the Cross, not only because it is painful and embarrassing, but because we ourselves do not want to be held accountable to Scripture; because we ourselves cannot face our own death or that of our loved ones; because we ourselves are cowards. As a result, we cling to false hopes of our own making while others suffer in our place.
Hear the word of the Lord: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.”
Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Mark 15:33-39.
Episode 209 Mark 15:23-32; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Hiding Your Reality” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/
What is The Bible as Literature?
Each week, Dr. Richard Benton, Fr. Marc Boulos and guests discuss the content of the Bible as literature. On Tuesdays, Fr. Paul Tarazi presents an in-depth analysis of the biblical text in the original languages.