Year A - Good Friday or Annihilation Friday
April 18, 2014
Prelude to all the crucifixion business is a context often overlooked. “I will continue to reveal the love with which I have been loved is also in others.” (John 17:26)
Without this grounding the beginning and rest of this pericope loses focus. “When Jesus had finished speaking/praying . . . .” (John 18:1)
This pushes us again in a direction against ancient atonement theories. All that follows here is not about some sacrifice to set things right, but a continuing revelation that life is already right if we would attend to its blessing of automatic belovedness. We come pre-blessed.
Look again at the actions:
- Jesus steps forward to initiate contact with his confronters
- Jesus admonishes violence, even that of his “protectors”
- Jesus drinks the cup of consequence for loving even enemies
- Jesus deals with accusations by sticking to facts in the open
- Jesus refutes an appeal to power with silence
- Jesus bears the consequence of revealing love in a retributive world
- Jesus binds together a new family
- Jesus continues to thirst for mercy for himself and all
- Jesus offers back his spirit of love instead of rising as a spirit of judgment
May we learn to reveal the love with which we have been loved is already present in others. This day reveals prevenient grace, not the cheap grace of my benefiting from the loss of another.