REFLECTION by Tom
THE WRATH OF GOD
On the cross God is revealed as
the victor who chooses to be the victim, the judge who is
judged, and the eternal pain-bearer. Christ’s death
proclaims the principle of sacrifice active in the heart
of God before the foundation of the world, and now
continually propagated through space and time. Alongside
this, the resurrection of Christ changes the
eschatological clock. The end-time triumph of God, where
death is swallowed up in victory and wrath is absorbed in
love, is also operating in the here and now of
wrath of God destabilizes all triumphalism and destroys
proud “theologies of glory”, because God has refused to
use power to defeat power and has chosen instead the holy
path of self-emptying. The cross is scandalous because it
questions the wisdom of the wise. It reveals humankind’s
obsession with power which addicts oppressive
dictatorships, unaccountable hierarchical institutions and
faceless bureaucracies. It tells us that
all the powerful
dictators of this world will
ultimately destroy themselves through their own
and perish under the judgement of God.
Followers of Christ have no power only influence, no
compulsion other than gentle persuasion. The cross is
devoid of arrogance. It is a startling display of hope
which, in the midst of dark corruption, frames our
existence with new meaning.
A further extract from my book 'The Wrath of God
REFLECTION by Tom
JESUS THE SAVIOR
In the New Testament we find Jesus—according to
Mark—engaged in a violent “invasion-redemption mission”.
Liberation begins with a dramatic description of the
heavens being torn apart (1:10) and ends with the ripping
down of the dividing wall of the temple (15:38). Jesus is
presented as a “space invader”. It is no accident that the
name “Jesus” or “Savior” comes from the Hebrew root word
for “space” (yasha).
Following his baptism Jesus invades the wilderness turning
it into a Garden of Eden. Then follows a mission to
village, town, countryside, sea, and city. At each
stopping place he reclaims the space occupied by hostile
powers. Demons are driven out, (1:25-34), sin and sickness
removed (2:9), the oppressive religion of Scribe and
Pharisee undermined (3:1-6).
is plundering the property of the strong man, Beelzebul
(3:23-27)—who is the latest manifestation of the dragon.
The chaos waters are tamed (4:39, 6:48) and death is
destroyed (5:38-42). Christ comes to give his life as a
“ransom for many” (10:45).
music of victory over the dragon plays throughout the New
Testament. Paul’s affirmation in Roman 8 springs from his
conviction that Christ has “disarmed the rulers and
authorities” and triumphed over them on the cross (Col
Jesus is Lord. Is he your Lord and Saviour?