I think that if we had never suffered, we would see Him there on the throne, a Lamb as if slain, and it would have no meaning to us. We would not have fellowship because we would not understand what He had gone through.
Which brings us around to our original point. In all things – your righteousness, your belovedness, your knowledge, your assurance of salvation – it is not you who establishes or maintains these things.
You are God’s gift to His beloved Son! That is what is most true of you. Walk in faith that you are of a devastating beauty in the eyes of God! This is what is most true of you.
There will always be wars and rumors of wars. The poor you always have with you. But something greater is here. God Himself has come in the person of Christ as our servant, and has swept in and solved all of our problems of justice and suffering through the cross.
The gospel declares that while we are yet sinners, at our worst, God demonstrates His own love towards us, His greatest and most sacrificial love. It kills the idolatrous faux-God of the judge-self. This is the way in which we are baptized into Christ’s death (Romans 6:3).
Let’s be clear: there is no harsher law than this kind of “grace”. It says, no matter how horrible and crazy and insane and rotten and sinful someone is to you, you have to “accept” them and love them and forgive them and redefine the law for them on their terms as they see fit.
This book is an allegory for something that has become very important and very central for me. The simple ordinary gospel of Christ and Him crucified for sinners is the great power of God for us.
I hate being called a sheep. If there must be an animal metaphor, I’d rather be a lion or perhaps a bear or an eagle. Sheep are defenseless and dumb and stubborn.