Holy Saturday 2019
God’s Godness in the grave of godlessness
There is a “faith” which has forgotten what it is to doubt; a way of hearing which no longer listens to the silence; a certainty that God is close which dares not look into eyes still haunted by divine remoteness; a hope for some glory other than a crown of thorns.
Such supposed but cowardly and inauthentic faith and hope has failed to wrestle with the conundrum of the grave, evading the possibility that God is God among the suffering and the dying, and that the King who rules the world is only a wounded lamb that has been slain. Whereas our three-day story — that “word of the cross” to which our faith and hope should be conformed — does indeed portray a God who prevails only by allowing place and recognition to the hostile opposition, saying “Yes” to the guilty and the doubting and the dying. That is divine affirmation of the very persons and realities which embody the world’s great “No” to God, the living expressions of its ugliness, destructiveness, and sin. But because God acknowledges all this negativity and lets it be, because the word God says is Yes not No, positive not negative, for life not against it, grace surpasses its antithesis, proving more creative than evil can be destructive. Thus, in its very affirmation, death is defeated; and thus the Son of God who lay in death among the godless of the earth rises to new life, and brings them with him: witnesses to God’s even greater presence within the absence of that presence, which was great enough.
• Alan E. Lewis, Between Cross and Resurrection