Draining the colour from the blood of Christ

Nathan Betts in God’s final word writes:

“The cross of Christ shows us the enormity of evil that needed to be dealt with but it also shows us a God that cares. The theologian, N.T. Wright beautifully calls the cross, “God’s no to evil”. [ N. T. Wright, Surprised By Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (Harperone, 2008), 87]. In the cross of Christ we see that God is not distant from suffering or evil but one who got involved in the problem. The crucifixion and resurrection of Christ tells us that the real evil we see around us is not the end.”

The cross, says Wright, God’s no to evil. Is that what Wright gets from God ordaining/predestinating/decreeing the cross? “As you yourselves know — this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.” – Acts 2:23.

The verse says that God (the Father) ordained the crucifixion of Jesus. God didn’t – oh what a distorted, but all too human, notion – fit his divine plan of redemption into what he foresaw evil man would do, namely, crucify His Son. To think like this is to drain the two primary colours of redemption from the blood of Christ – his wrath and love.

There is no evil in God, there is no sin in God, but he ordained this evil, this sin. Why did God foreknow the cross? For the same reason he foreknows anything: it was part of his definite plan, his eternal decree. Yet lawless men are held accountable for this evil. That is what the verse is saying, love it, hate it. Most professing Christians blanch at the thought – naturally.


5 thoughts on “Draining the colour from the blood of Christ

  1. Raphael, I don’t understand a word of your article. I have the image of a pirouetting cat trying to catch its tale.

  2. Karen would you say that Wright’s view of the cross (crucifixion of Christ) and resurrection of Christ being “God’s no to evil,” is a correct interpretation of the Bible verse I quoted? Or what?

    • No, I would NOT say that the crucifixion of Christ is ‘God’s no to evil.’ But then I am not a Christian. I do not understand the concept of the crucifixion. I do not understand the concept of original sin. The myth of Pandora’s Box makes more sense to me. However, if I WERE a Christian I still would not understand why the crucifixion of Christ should be God saying no to evil. I would think that crucifying anybody at all, let alone your own son, is evil in itself. How can evil say no to evil? As for God predetermining everything . . . that, too, is my cat endlessly chasing his own tail (‘tale’ is also applicable, although I admit that initially it was a spelling mistake!)

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