The Easter Rebellion

‘We must understand the sacrifice of Christ on the cross not as an act of divine impotence but of divine power. The cross most definitely is not an instance of God submitting himself to an irresistible force so as to be defined in his struggle with nothingness or so as to be “rescued” from his impassibility by becoming our fellow sufferer; but neither is it a vehicle whereby God reconciles either himself or us to death.

Rather, he subverts death, and makes a way through it to a new life. The cross is thus a triumph of divine, limitless and immutable love, taking all suffering and death upon itself without being changed, modified or defined by it, and so destroying its power and making us, by participation in Christ, “more than conquerors” (Rom. 8:37). God does not simply submit himself to the cycle of natural necessity or to the dialectic of historical necessity but shatters the power of both, and thereby overthrows the ancient principalities, the immemorial empire of death.

Easter utterly confounds the “rulers of this age” (1 Cor. 2:8) and in fact reverses the verdict they have pronounced on Christ, thereby revealing that the cosmic, sacred, political and civic powers of all who condemn Christ have become tyranny, falsehood and injustice. Easter is an act of “rebellion” against all false necessity and all illegitimate or misused authority, all cruelty and heartless chance. It liberates us from servitude to and terror before the “elements”. It emancipates us from fate. Easter should make rebels of us all.’ (David Bentley Hart, ‘The Doors of the Sea: Where was God in the Tsunami’ p.81)

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