26 March 2005

the death of God

From Hans Urs von Balthasar:

If without the Son no one can see the Father, nor anyone come to the Father, and if, without him, the Father is revealed to nobody, then when the Son, the Word of the Father is dead, then no one can see God, hear of him or attain him. And this day exists, when the Son is dead, and the Father, accordingly, is inaccessible...

One can, no doubt, say: he came to bear our sins upon the Cross, to take up the account-sheet of our debt, and to triumph thereby over principalities and powers: but this "triumph" is realised in the cry of God-forsakenness in the darkness, in "drinking the cup" and "being baptized with the baptism" which lead down to death and hell. Then the silence closed around, as the sealed tomb will also close...

...we must take with full gravity this affirmation: in the same way that a man who undergoes death and burial is mute, no longer communicating or transmitting anything, so it is with this man Jesus, who was the Speech, the Communication and the Mediation of God.

(from Mysterium Paschale, Eerdmans, 1990: 49-50)