Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Brunner: godforsakenness

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
    Commemoration of John Donne, Priest, Poet, 1631
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
    —Isaiah 53:2 (NIV)
    [Continued from yesterday]
    God has in his mercy shown us a completely different way. “Men cannot come up to me, so I will go down to them.” And now God descends to us men... This act of becoming man begins at Christmas and ends on Good Friday...
    God really goes to the end. He reaches the goal. To be sure, this end is exactly the opposite of what we fix as a goal. We wish to climb up to heaven; God, however, descends—down to where? To death on the cross...
    This is why Jesus Christ had to descend into hell. He had to go the way to its very end. The rightful end of man is hell, that is, banishment away from God—Godforsakenness. There only has God completely come to us, there where he has taken upon himself everything, even the cursed end of our way... Jesus Christ has gone into hell in order to get us out of there. For along with everything he does, that is his goal, that he may get us out, bind us to God, reconcile us with God, and fill us with God’s Spirit. He had to despair of God for us so that we do not have to despair of God... He has taken all that upon himself so that we may become free of it.
    ... Emil Brunner (1889-1966), I Believe in the Living God: sermons on the Apostles’ Creed, Westminster Press, 1960, p. 80-83 (see the book)
    See also Isa. 53:2; Ps. 22:1; Isa. 49:14; 53:3-6; 1 Pet. 3:18-20
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have borne my disgrace.
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