Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
April 3rd, 2015 by Joel Watts

How I explain Triduum to my kids (Um, Jesus V. Thor)

Maundy Thursday, Good/Holy Friday, Great and Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil, and Easter/Pascha/Resurrection Sunday.

I’ll spare you the details of YWHW coming to Adam, Moses, etc… and skip to the Jesus bit. I’m skipping to evolution in understanding of the tribal God to the cosmic God and going directly to Jesus.

At the needed time, The Holy Trinity said to itself that it was time to fulfill the promise to Abraham — to bring the whole world inline with God the Father, rescuing Gentiles from the oppressive gods. Yes, I explained immanent and transcendent. So, God the Son was sent as the Son of God to teach us as the example of what God expected us to be.

English: Icon of Jesus Christ

“YWHW or the Highway? Really, Joel?” English: Icon of Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christ then, and not in the (penal) sacrificial sense, died on the cross because he was sick and tired of the other gods having dominion on God’s creation. He spent all day Saturday battling the various other gods and goddess (a la Justin Martyr) — including Thor, which I dramatically reenacted — for control of the living and then on Saturday evening, descended to the abode of the dead to rescue the captives there. There, he was challenged to “prove it” that he was really the Son of God, the Son of the Most High. So he did, when he resurrected himself on the Third Day.

Stuff it, Orcus.

I did a lot of hand motions and play battles. I still think I’d like to see a Christus Victor movie of Jesus v. Thor.

But, then we get to the why? We spoke of the other gods of Thor, Iris, greed, jealousy, anger and how Jesus’s death freed us from these powers so that we can be in line with God’s will. Then, I used the demonstration of God’s will and our will and how sin is how will flowing erratically against God’s will. Jesus is the magnet that draws our will into alignment with God’s.

Anyway, Dr David Watson probably has a better post on atonement than I do. But mine included Jesus v. Thor and reenactments of their fight scene. I’ll let you decide which is better.

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

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