Friday, April 22, 2011

C.S. Lewis on Good Friday

So many seem to be saddened by Good Friday.  Recall the drama and anxiety from many Christians as they watch (and perhaps still to this day when they do) Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ.  There is, to be sure, sorrow on Good Friday.  But do not feel sorry for Jesus.  He knew exactly what He was doing.  He loves you; He goes to the cross for you.  How could He have done anything less?  And if there must be tears, weep not for Jesus, but for your sins and greater still for His love.  As C.S. Lewis reminds us in the quotation below, He is - especially on this day - the epitome, the very definition - of love.  Love incarnate.  Love lived.  Love Crucified.  Love Resurrected.  Today Christ says to His church and all dear sinners: "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways: I was born; I grew in wisdom and knowledge you did; I learned from my parents the Scriptures; I walked in your shoes - in the very soles of your own flesh; I know your pain; I know your disease; I know your temptation - even greater than you can imagine; I know your sin and most of all, today, I know your death.  But that is not all I know about you.  I know that you are loved, unending.  And for you I go to create and fill the very word "love" with my own flesh and blood - never will this word mean anything greater than what I AM, and have done, for you."  This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4).  What wondrous love is this, that caused the Lord of bliss, to bear our dreadful curse?  Good Friday is, quite simply, the clearest picture of who God is for you, Love Himself. 

God, who needs nothing, loves into existence wholly superfluous creatures in order that He may love and perfect them.  He creates the universe, already foreseeing - or should we say 'seeing'? there are no tenses in God - the buzzing cloud of flies about the cross, the flayed back pressed against the uneven stake, the nails driven through the mesial nerves, the repeated incipient suffocation as the body droops, the repeated torture of back and arms as it is time after time, for breath's sake, hitched up.  If I may dare the biological image, God is 'host' who deliberately creates His own parasites; causes us to be that we may exploit and 'take advantage of' Him.  Herein is love.   This is the diagram of Love Himself, the inventor of all loves. - The Four Loves.

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