Friday, November 22, 2013

the passion of the Christ

The Word for today:
Song of Solomon 2:8-3:5
So what is Song of Solomon all about?
I waxed poetic in yesterday's introductory article. That's because Song of Solomon isn't religion or philosophy or theology. It's poetry.
It has to be poetry because what Song of Solomon is conveying is a kiss. And not just any kiss. Song of Solomon is the kiss of life.
Some of you are beginning to squirm, just like I do when movies come 'round to the kissing scene. I get it, I get it-- they're in love and they're about to kiss. But do they have to show it?
Some people squirm, in the very same way, at the reading of the Song of Solomon. We get it, we get it-- "God so loved" and all of that, but do they have to show it?
Yes, the scene must be seen in order to understand the theme--of both Song of Solomon and the Bible at large:
Salvation is a love affair.
We read about our salvation on the paper pages of scripture, where dry and distant terms are often employed; terms which can make our salvation seem a paper transaction, an accounting function. The Bible speaks of covenants, and accrediting; of purchase, and title, and down payment.
Our Bibles speak of law, adoption, proxy, birthright, and inheritance. It's enough to make us think that we are saved by contractual obligation.
But know this: Jesus was in no way obligated to go to the cross. Should Jesus have opted out, the angelic hosts would at this very moment be singing, "Holy, Holy, Holy" (1) with infinite, undiminished fervor.
Jesus did not go to the cross to prove himself, or to fulfill himself. Jesus went to the cross because he was in love. The cross was an outworking of the love that God already was (2).
It was, in that way, like a kiss.
That's why we never call it "the duty of the Christ;" or "the obligation of the Christ." We call it what it is -- "the passion of the Christ."
(1) Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8; (2) 1 John 4:16

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