Easter Quotes: The Fierce Christ of Easter (Timothy George)

April 12, 2015


In an excellent short Easter reflection at First Things magazine, Dr. Timothy George writes:

The New Testament, on the other hand, presents death as a violent intrusion, an illicit disruption, a trespasser, a foe or enemy to be overcome. Indeed, Paul refers to death as “the last enemy” to be destroyed by Christ, who will stomp it under his feet on the day of resurrection (1 Cor. 15:25-26). In the meantime, God does not sit idly by, observing with cool detachment the sufferings of his people and the ragings of Satan. That kind of God is the God of deism, the God Thomas Hardy once referred to as “a dreaming, dark, dumb Thing that turns the handle of this idle show.” This view of the divine is at the root of much contemporary atheism. But the God of the Gospel of John is the one who challenges evil at its strongest point, who becomes indignant and angry in the face of death and evil. What we have in John 11 is not so much sinners in the hands of an angry God (though there is much about judgment in John), but rather sin itself, in its most intrusive, death-dealing effect, confronted by an angry Christ.

The fierce Christ of Easter faith is not like the Jesus depicted on the front of many church bulletins: the freshly-laundered Jesus all buffed and tanned, stepping out of the tomb like an athlete fresh from the gym, or like a CEO all buttoned up for a board meeting. No, he is more like Aslan, the great untamed Lion in C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia.

It’s a good reminder…

(art credit)

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