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Some quotes from Rowan Williams’ The Resurrection…

‘God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him’ (3:17). The Father, as such, will not judge (5:22): judgement belongs to the Son, because it is the Son who is concretely involved in the processes of violence and condemnation. In other words, the divine judgement on the world is not delivered from a supernatural plane, but is enacted within the relations of human beings to each other. Judgement is inseparable from the event in which the light of loving acceptance shines in the human world and is shut out by that world (3:19). Yet Jesus can say, ‘I judge no one’ (8:15), and ‘I did not come to judge the world but to save the world’ (12:47). Judgement is not an activity in which Jesus engages: it is an event in which his ‘word’, his image, his history, ‘acts’ in the world to convict and transform (12:48).

The stranger on the shore points them to where they may find abundance and sustenance: and in that moment the connection is made. ‘It is the Lord.’ The memory of Jesus returns, it is no longer as if he had never been. What he once gave, he still gives, life in abundance. And as he once broke bread with them, so he does now. He has food already, he does not need the fish the apostles have caught, yet he invites them to bring what they have to share with him, as he gives what he has to share with them. It is in this sharing that they perceive who the stranger is (though he is still, notice, a stranger: it would be possible, though superfluous, to ask him who he is). He has called them as he called them at first, and they recognize both him and themselves in that calling. (Page 28)

The cross ceases to be an ideological weapon when it is recognized not only as mine but as a stranger’s; and it is the stranger … whom we meet on Easter morning. To stop with Good Friday is to see the crucified simply as reflecting back to me my own condition, and even to remember the crucified, in the superficial sense, can merely leave us with a martyr for our cause. The women come on Easter morning to look for the corpse of a martyr, and they find a void. If we come in search of the ‘God of our condition’ at Easter, we shall not find him. ‘You seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified…. he is not here’. (Mark 16:6; cf. Matthew 28:5-6).

The dialectic of the resurrection stories is the dialectic of all our worship and contemplation, so that to see in the risen Jesus both an endlessly receding horizon and a call to journey more and more deeply towards our centre and our home is to see him as God‑like: more simply, to see him as God, because he is the concrete form in which we encounter this infinity of challenge and infinity of acceptance most clearly and comprehensively


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