Tuesday, March 03, 2015

The cross—again

This love the Messiah had and has for the world and for the church is not, for Paul, only a reference to Jesus’ deep concern for individuals’ salvation in the sense of their reconciliation to God—though it is clearly and emphatically that. Indeed, everything Paul thinks and says about peace is grounded in and flows from his theology of the cross. For him, there can be no true and lasting peace among humans without reconciliation with God, without a common embrace of the cross. Yet there can be no doubt that for Paul “the love of Christ” manifested on the cross refers not only to his compassionate desire to restore humanity to fellowship with God, but also to Jesus’ deep concern to effect reconciliation of people to one another. That is, the purpose of Christ’s death on the cross is to create a people of the covenant—the new covenant promised by the prophets in which people live in peace with God and with one another.— The Death of the Messiah and the Birth of the New Covenant, page 175

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