Posted by: watchman | April 24, 2009

BookBlog: Exquisite Agony pt.2

I just finished Exquisite Agony by Gene Edwards. In addition to my previous  comments, let me add that this book is a powerful medium for evaluating the depth and affect of the hurt one has inflcted. The book does not operate on the cerebral or practical level as much as it acts on the emotional/spiritual level.

According to Edwards, there are two keystone moments in the story of Jesus: Gethsemane and Ressurection.

Gethsemane

Gethsamane can occur anytime before or after the Crucifixion. It is that pivotal moment when we submit to the terrible will of God. For most of us, it occurs after our crucifixion, when we submit to the fact that it was God’s will.

“Not my will..” Our wills are wrapped up in our perspective of our situations. “Did you hear what they said about me… do you know what they’ve done to me… are you aware of their betrayal… how much this hurts me… what this has done to me?”

It was God that did it, it was his will , and that is all that matters.

What is the alternative?

People did it ———> Retribution and Vengance

I did it ———> self loathing

It was random meaningless event ———–> nihilistic despair

Not my will, but your be done. No matter how awful, no matter how gory, no matter what. How terrible to face such a reality in the Garden. Yet, how liberating to find meaning in it all.

Resurrection

Resurrection is liberation. The scars remain, but the hurt has meaning now. The pain, though still real, exists in a different world. It exists in the world of the living. After the Resurrection, we are not living, nor are we dead. We are ressurrected.

Think for a second about Jesus’ behavior after the resssurrection. Think how often Jesus railed against his lying accusers. Think of how much venom spewed from his mouth in recounting all the falsehoods that were lobbed at him. Think about the voluminous time he spent quoting all the slanderous things they had said about him. Do you recall all the energy he expended correcting the rumors that were spread about him? Remember when he went back to the Temple, kicked in the door and said “How do you like me now, suckas?”

No… none of that happened.  In fact, Jesus does not seem to act in anyway like I do after I have been harmed. But, the purpose of his hurt was more than just what evil people inflicted upon him. It was more than skin deep. Perhaps ours is too and perhpaps that can be the healing realization that gets us through Gethsamane.

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