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Jesus' Death: A Story Complete in Itself

(From Walter Wangerin - sermon notes on the Passion of Jesus posted online…)

(Also works for Good Friday)

Eventually, here:


It is said (by Christians and non-Christians alike) that there is not, nor can there be, tragedy in our faith or in our story-because the story does not end in a suffering of expiation.  In fact, if we take the death of Jesus seriously, the tale ends with his burial.  For Christ's death was an altogether complete death.  It was absolutely the     end of his life and of his relationship with the father and of him.  Hence the grieving.  That grieving cannot be read as based on a false premise.  It was not an unnecessary grief.  For even as we tell the tale on this Sunday, we end (we do not cut it off) with So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.

Easter, you see, begins a whole new story.  The resurrection must come as an astounding shock-even as it did for the disciples.

This is why the story must be read (or told) as a tragedy, in the mode and the mood of a tragedy.  It was at his death that Jesus made right what had been wrong-not by his rising again.