Sunday, May 22, 2011

"the most astonishing thing is not that Jesus could be raised, but that he could die."

"The power that is his to lay down his life by relinquishing it (theinai) is by that very fact the power to take it up again (labein).  Thus, on the evening of the Last Supper, Jesus will 'lay aside' (theinai) his garments in order to place himself before his disciples in the attitude of the servant who washes their feet (Jn 13:3ff.) and, after having 'taken up' (labein) his garments again and returned to his place in their midst, he can ask them whether they 'know' what he has just done.  The parallelism with the paschal mystery as a whole is remarkable, and the resurrection, signified here by the taking up again of his garments, appears as the revelation of the divine love at work from beginning to end in this mystery."

Jean-Pierre Batut, "Believing in the resurrection, or:  The logic of love," Communio: international Catholic review 37, no. 1 (Spring 2010):  37 (34-46).  The headline comes from p. 35:  "If Life made itself manifest in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, the question of his resurrection takes second place: the most astonishing thing is not that Jesus could be raised, but that he could die."

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