Friday, April 22, 2011

Jesus accepts his failure and abandons himself to the Father

On the cross Jesus finally abandons himself to the Father. His life work has ended in failure. It looked very optimistic at first: the crowds gathering to hear all those attractive things they needed to hear and received with such enthusiasm, but now all that has collapsed. His followers have deserted him, the foremost of them has disowned him, he has been arrested and condemned, the crowds who once listened to him are now howling "Crucify him, crucify him". The whole attempt to form a little community of friends based on himself and, through him, the Father's love, one in which people could relate to each other in love and mutual forgiveness instead of domination of submission, has been a complete failure. Nevertheless, his mission was not to be a world leader but just to be human and accept the consequences of being human, which culminate in defeat. He accepts his failure and refuses to compromise his mission by using the weapons of the world against the world. It is his Father's mission and it is for the Father to bring his own purposes out of Jesus's failure. Jesus knows he is not going to live to establish the Kingdom. He did not transform the world; the colonial society went on as before; the same kinds of bitterness and meanness and hatreds went on as before. In death on the cross he handed over all the meaning of his human life to the Father; this is his prayer. The Father has not accomplished his will through any success of Jesus; Jesus is left with nothing but his love and his obedience, and this is the prayer to the Father to work through his failure.

Herbert McCabe, "Good Friday: The Mystery of the Cross", God Matters, pp. 99-100.

1 comment:

  1. Compelling interesting, but ultimately meaning: trust mysterious forces that seem to limit you: love your torturer: don't take power for the powerless.

    The abandoned child goes on to abandon himself to the nothingness in which he was thrown. Hell no.

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About Me

I'm Rachel's husband and Darcy's daddy. I'm a Hoosier, an accountant, and an Episcopalian. Politically, I'm a progressive who believes in the preferential option for the poor. I use the blog as a sort of journal - to interact with my reading and sketch out ideas.