Thursday, October 13, 2016

"The eternal action of Jesus Christ grounded in His resurrection is itself the true and direct bridge from . . . Himself in His time to us in our time."

"All honour to the human and historical pragmatism of recollection, tradition and proclamation. But in relation to the divine history of this repraesentatio and oblatio it can be considered only as an epiphenomenon, with a significance which is only secondary, and indirect, that of an instrument and witness. The eternal action of Jesus Christ grounded in His resurrection is itself the true and direct bridge from once to always, from Himself in His time to us in our time. Because as crucified and dead He is risen and lives, the fact of His death on the cross can never be past, it can never cease to be His action, the decision which God makes hic et nunc to His own glory and in our favour, summoning us on our part to responsibility, as is brought out so impressively and in a way to stir the conscience in Heb. 1019-29. 'Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our hope without wavering, for he is faithful that promised' (Heb. 1022-23). Jesus Christ Himself lives. His obedience pleading for our disobedience. His blood shed in obedience speaks against us and for us to-day as it did on the day of Golgotha. He receives "or us to-day as on Easter Day the grace of God which we have not deserved. For this reason the judgment fulfilled by Him, the sacrifice offered by Him, is effective for us. Not therefore in some answer of ours to our questions: What are we going to make of it? How can we bring home this matter to ourselves and other men? Or how can we bring ourselves and other men to this matter? Where and how do we experience and prove its efficacy? There is a relative place for these questions and answers, but only in the light and in strict explanation of the one question and answer which God Himself has put and given in Jesus Christ, which indeed He does put in eternity and therefore to-day, and which He answers in the antithesis of the obedient Son and the gracious Father. Our answer and our question have to be sought (Col. 31) 'above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.' But this means in prayer, prayer in the name of Jesus, prayer which we expect to be heard onlybut without doubt or hesitationbecause God has loved and loves and will love the one who offers it as a lost sinner in Jesus Christ, because, therefore, Jesus Christ has come between this one and God, and is there between to-day and every day."

     Karl Barth, CD IV/1, 315 =KD IV/1, 347.

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