Looking Through the Cross – The Cross and Evil, pt.2

Tonight we are discussing Chapter 2 “The Cross and Evil” in Looking Through the Cross.  Part of Tomlin’s discussion in this chapter is the atonement, or reconciliation between God and Man, that occurs at the Cross.  If you have time today, read through Leviticus 16 which sets forth the rite for the Day of Atonement and see where Christ can be discerned within this passage.  The Church has used different analogies in discussing and understanding the atonement. A very brief summary of these different understandings is HERE and a more in-depth discussion is HERE.  As you prepare for this evening, think through these three things:

1)      How do you understand the atonement?  Tomlin correctly points out that the Atonement is ultimately a mystery and at best it can only be described metaphorically, but what is your description?

2)      When have you felt abandoned by God? Jesus experiences this abandonment when he quotes Psalm 22, and that abandonment is visibly manifested when the sky darkens as he hangs on the Cross.  Jewish thought (especially in relation to the Holocaust) says this is when “God hides his face.” See, Deut. 31:17, Job 13:24, Ps.44:24, and Ps. 143:7).  When has God hidden his face from you?

3)      How does your understanding of the atonement overcome, if it does, your experience of abandonment by God?

Dinner is at 6. The menu is cheeseburgers. Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you here!

Awake, O Lord! why are you sleeping? *
   Arise! do not reject us for ever.
Why have you hidden your face *
   and forgotten our affliction and oppression?
We sink down into the dust; *
   our body cleaves to the ground.
Rise up, and help us, *
   and save us, for the sake of your steadfast love.

Psalm 44:23-26

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