Wednesday, 19 March 2008

The worst of Easter

Amanda was pointed to this by someone she has met here in Methven. This person was absolutely genuine that this had moved her to tears as a picture of the Cross, and was encouraging people to watch it.

It is difficult to even know where to begin. Of course this is a collage from a movie - I haven't seen it and maybe (!?) the movie as a whole is more subtle and nuanced than this clip portrays. Of course there is an aspect of the atonement which this piece captures - the concept of one for many, and it attempts to deal with the pain of the Son's death.

But the problems with it monumentally outweigh the benefits. The Son's death is labelled as a tragic mistake, and indeed is seen simply as an accident. The Son himself has no intention to die for the passengers on the train - he slips and falls (cf Jn 10:18). Here indeed is child abuse.

What is more, the passengers on the train are 'saved' - but with no reference to the Father or the Son. They simply carry on in their 'pre-salvation' lives, completely ignorant of what has happened for them. Surely, if anything, this clip promotes universalism!

I do appreciate what this clip, and similar illustrations in sermons, attempt to do. As with any articulation of the gospel, not all things can be covered at once. However, I have to conclude that this is such a distortion of the gospel that I wonder if it is any gospel at all.

Preach the gospel this Easter. Preach the glories of the triune God who took on flesh that our sin might be borne and punished in him that we might be forgiven. Preach that any who turn to Him, with their doubts, worries, fears and anxieties can be released and freed and born to a new life in Christ. Preach that grace has been given, sin has been conquered, death has been defeated and that creation will never - can never - be the same again.

Preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. But don't preach the bridge.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Clancey, I too had the video sent to me but by a website that had a whole bunch of other videos to use for Easter. I watched 'the Bridge' and, well, what to say, it is not an entirely biblical account of the atonement as you have pointed out. But on the flipside if people are dead keen on using some visual aid, (and I am!) why not use the visual Bible, the Matthew and John ones are reasonable.