Quote For The Day

“[I]t is not only the power and deathlessness of God that is made visible, manifest, three-dimensionsal, if you like, in Jesus’ going to his death. For us death is also inseparable from the reality of shame, powerlessness, pain, failure and loss. Jesus didn’t go only to occupy a space of death in some abstract, hygienic sense. He went to occupy the space of being the sort of human who is thrown out in order that others can Bronzino-Christ-Nicesurvive. In other words, he went to death as a victim, the sort of person whom others gang up against. And the reason that this is important is that it catches us at our worst, as it were. The space of the victim is the kind of place none of us at all ever wants to occupy, and if we find ourselves occupying it, it is kicking and screaming. More to the point, we spend a great deal of time pointing fingers and making sure that other people get to occupy that space, not us.

Now by Jesus going into, and occupying that space, deliberately, without any attraction to it, he is not only proving that we needn’t be afraid of death, but also we needn’t be afraid of shame, disgrace, or of the fact that we have treated others to shame and disgrace. It is as if he were saying, ‘Yes, you did this to me, as you do it to each other, and here I am undergoing this, occupying the space of it happening, but I’m doing so without being embittered or resentful. In fact, I was keen to occupy this space so as to try to get across to you that I am not only utterly alive, but that I am utterly loving. There is nothing you can do, no amount of evil that you can do to each other, that will be able to stop my loving you, nothing you can do to separate yourselves from me. The moment you perceive me, just here, on the cross, occupying this space for you and detoxifying it, the moment you perceive that, then you know that I am determined to show you that I love you, and am in your midst as your forgiving victim. This is how I prove my love to you: by taking you at your very lowest and worst point and saying ‘Yes you do this to me, but I’m not concerned about that, let’s see whether we can’t learn a new way of being together,'” – James Alison, Jesus the Forgiving Victim: Listening for the Unheard Voice.