Sunday, April 5, 2009

Jesus on the cross 2

"From its earliest era, the church has applied to Christ in his passion the words of the fourth 'Song of the Suffering Servant' from the book of Isaiah (Isa. 52:13-53:12)--thinking of them, indeed, as a direct prophecy of the passion. Here we read that 'there was no beauty in him to make us look at him, nor appearance that would attract us to him' (Isa. 53:2-3). As Barth says, 'Jesus Christ does present this aspect of Himself, and He always presents this aspect first. It is not self-evident that even--and precisely--under this aspect he has form and comeliness, that the beauty of God shines especially under this aspect. . . . We cannot know this of ourselves. It can only be given to us.' Yet to Christian faith, it is given that Christ is --precisely in the cross--the supreme revelation of God's being, God's 'form,' 'glory,' and 'beauty.' The transcendent 'beauty' and 'light' of God, then, must embrace also 'the abysmal darkness into which the Crucified plunges." (The Beauty of the Cross: The Passion of Christ in Theology and the Arts--from the Catacombs to the Eve of the Renaissance, by Richard Viladesau.)

May all of us, the Church, God's people, boast only "in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." (a Gal 6:14)

From an earlier posting December 16, 2007 The Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ: Art, History & Truth

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