Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Murder of God

§ 1.11.1 and § 1.11.2 of Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics discusses God the Son: “The one God reveals Himself according to Scripture as the Reconciler, i.e. as the Lord in the midst of our enmity towards Him. As such He is the Son of God who has come to us or the Word of God that has been spoken to us, because He is so antecedently in Himself as the Son or Word of God the Father” in the section on the Revelation of God (§11). Karl Barth affirms the New Testament and early church dogma that Jesus is God, the same God who is a reconciler and the revealer of Himself.

As I meditate on this during the Holy Week of 2011, I have this image of God moving towards Jerusalem as Jesus of Nazareth, well aware that he is walking into a trap. Yet he continue to walk to his own murder. The supreme irony of this is the Creator walking towards a murder, organised by his own creations, in the name of a religion based on his revelations about himself.

Unlike many religious traditions where either man is an avatar of a god or man himself becomes a god, the Christian tradition maintains that Jesus is already truly God and truly man. That is Barth’s main thesis in this section. The deity of Jesus is important because it gives so much significance to the horrors of Good Friday and the joy of Easter Sunday.


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