The Monstrous Fragility of Christ
If Jesus was the human face of God, who is this God?
He was a mortal who ate and belched, who drank and coughed, who learned and grew.
There were days when he walked, walked until his feet were sore, he ran, he panted for breath, he sweat, he joked, he laughed, he drank, he slept.
And there were nights when he did not sleep. Nights when he shivered. When he worried, he prayed, he doubted, he grieved and he wept.
And there were mornings when the first birds of dawn interrupted his prayers, when he yawned, he rallied crowds, he challenged, he exhorted, he applauded and he criticized.
He raised his voice to speak, probably until his voice went hoarse.
Those without influence or voice or would flock to him. Those with authority and power feared him.
He respected nobodies and criticized the high and mighty to their faces.
He welcomed the wrong people, rejected the wrong people, defied and upset the wrong people. The wrong people turned upon him: his own people, and those closest to him.
But divine strength was his. Divine strength not smuggled beneath his weakness, but perfected in it. His weakness did not conceal God but revealed him. A God revealed in his laughter and tears, in his energy and exhaustion, revealed in hunger and thirst and happiness and feasting. Jesus, the intolerably fragile, revealing the monstrous fragility of God.
God was with him and in him. He would not be overcome. He could not. All the hopes for his people were carried by him, all the promises to his people, fulfilled in him. Surely, God would not abandon him to his human frailty.
Fragility was not what the people wanted. What could it bring them? A fragile God is of no use in a world like this. Fragility is a hurdle to be removed, overcome. And so Jesus was to be removed, to be overcome.
Those who decided public opinion and shaped the will of the people, turned them against him.
He was arrested in secret, by an angry mob.
He was tried in public, by a legal procedure.
He was found guilty.
The fragile God was executed.
Fragility did not triumph. There was no victory for weakness.
The cross ends all. Hope and gentleness, weakness and fragility, love and selflessness. The cross ends all.
The cross is finality. And we must embrace it, and accept it, and live with it.
The cross ends all.
On that first Good Friday, there was no such thing as Easter Sunday.