"A Violent Grace"
A couple of weeks back I started reading a little book by Michael Card called A Violent Grace. With this book Michael entered into the long literary tradition of written meditations on the crucifixion of Jesus. I've been reading a chapter a day, and I realized about half-way through the book that at that rate I would be reading the last chapter on Easter morning! There's something really sweet about that!
Anyway, I love this little book. Michael Card is of course a songwriter, a creative artist, and the really special quality of his book is the way in which each "meditation" balances the rational and the imaginative. It is, throughout, the work of a mind and imagination that has been humbly submitted to the Cross, and the joy of this book is the deep joy that that can only be received in that place.
Here's a passage from the book, from a chapter entitled "He Died and Was Buried so that the Grave Could Not Hold Me":
Meanwhile, in the borrowed tomb, God was keeping His promise. "For I am going to do something in your day that you would not believe, even if you were told" (Habakkuk 1:5). "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death...." (Hosea 13:14).
In some mysterious way that I don't understand, the tomb during those hours became God's workshop to undo the tragedy of Eden.... Only one man--completely just and holy--fully man and fully God--could undo such a disaster. A second Adam. And that one man had just allowed himself to be brutally executed and buried. Jesus was not unconscious; He was dead. He was not holding out with a last-minute miracle; the last minute had passed. He was not waiting; His will and mind and pulse simply were no more.
But God--His Father and yours and mine--had a plan: "For if by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ" (Romand 5:17).
Jesus' corpse lay stretched out in that tomb because it was God's will that, in order to pay our ransom, He meet sin and death alone in the dark.
In those hours, violence reigned absolute, and all creation waited for the Father to make His move.