Monday, April 20, 2009

Through the week with Borg

No, not The Borg, but Marcus Borg.   He and John Crossan co-authored The Last Week-A Day by Day Account of Jesus' Final Week in Jerusalem.   I tried to read it last year during Holy Week but grew afraid of how it would end.  Yes, I knew that Jesus would die once more.  I wasn't sure of what would be said about the resurrection.  Borg has described what we know about Jesus as pre and post resurrection, so I was bit leery of what they might say about the resurrection.  Although I did make it through Saturday, I'm wrestling with Friday.

Borg & Crossan write that the crucifixion was less a blood sacrifice and more of the natural order of events when someone affronts both the religious and political domination system of their day.
The more specific meaning of sacrifice in relation to Jesus's death speaks of it as a substitutionary sacrifice for sin, a dying of the sins of the world.  This understanding is absent from Mark's story of good Friday; it is not there at all. . . How then does Mark understand Jesus's death?  As his story of Good Friday reports, he sees Jesus's death as an execution by the authorities because of his challenge to the domination system. (pages 154 & 155)

I attended an art display conceived around the Stations of the Cross.  Interestingly, the devotional material began with this:
Yet, this is what got Jesus killed.  Jesus threatened the political powers by imagining a world where true power came by serving, where peace came by love not by sword.  Jesus threatened the religious powers by imagining a Kingdom inclusive of the "least of these," where boundaries became befuddled mixing and mashing th clean/unclean and the sacred/secular divide.
Affronting the domination system.

This is how it ended:
As you prepare to leave this place recognizing you are deserting the cross, you are invited to take the body that was broken for you and the blood shed for you.
Blood sacrifice.

What I have to figure out is this either/or  or both/and?