Saturday, April 07, 2007

Where did Holy Week go?

So we had this week off from classes, as the majority of us are in church settings and are very, very, very busy this time of year (for a very good's close to the end of the semester and we've all procrastin-, I Lots of church services going on. Yeah. That's it. Church.)

I, for one, don't know where this last week went. I don't feel like I've been able to properly get into the spirit of Holy Week, primarily because I've been thinking ahead to Easter, and then again to good ol' doubting Thomas the week after (because that's the week I'm preaching next). For example, Jesus was in the tomb all day on this Holiest of Saturdays...and I had Easter on the brain.

Well, at least I got a good dose of Good Friday. I wonder if that covers all of Holy Week?

On the other hand, Good Friday has reinforced my uneasiness regarding penal substitution, the notion that Christ took the hit from God for our sins. At one of the services I attended yesterday, we sang "In Christ Alone," which isn't an awful song, everything being said. Sure, I have some issues with some of the lines, but I had a visceral reaction to the line: "'Til on the cross as Jesus died, The wrath of God was satisfied." This doesn't portray a very appealing picture of God...parental abuse for our sake just doesn't sit right with me, and it takes his death out of context and glorifies it. To me, his death is meaningless without the resurrection, which penal substitution ignores.

Perhaps more thoughts on this later. For now, it's bedtime...


Turbulent Cleric said...

I share your concern re the normal understanding of penal substitution and that line from "In Christ Alone" makes me feel nauseous.

You may be interested in this link to a rather controversial sermon by Jeffrey John, the Dean of St Albans;

Many are furious with him but I find his argument rather convincing

Mrs. M said...


I'm with you on the penal substituion, not at all comfortable.

A spiritual director I used to work with had a different perspective (and I'm not positive this is my view, either, but it's slightly more palatable). Her take was that the crucifixion was a result of Jesus' authenticity (which was necessary for salvation), but wasn't necessary in and of itself.