The Work of the People

MAY 12, 2015 - Visual Epistles

Rising from the Deep

In a journey of doubt and faith, pastor and author, Danielle Shroyer, found that some ways to think about Jesus’s death did not match up to her basic intuitions about what it meant for God to die on the cross. In this video, Shroyer discusses how the Easter event can be seen in new eyes through the perspective of the crucified God. 

Questions for Reflection

  1. Shroyer starts by talking about her skepticism regarding a particular theory of atonement: “I was in seminary and we were studying all the theories of the atonement, and honestly I came to the realization that I never believed what I was told about that as a little kid.” Shroyer refers to Jürgen Moltmann’s book, The Crucified God, which starts off: “The cross is not and cannot be loved.” How might this be a controversial statement? How is the Son of God dying not a good story?
  2. Shroyer elaborates, “Until you go to that dark place, Easter will never make sense.” She uses the image of babies learning how to swim, barely getting down into the water. This is how many Christians perceive the crucifixion; there is not an appreciation of the gravity of the event: “If you don’t go all the way down, you can’t go all the way up.” Shroyer declares, “Resurrection is the craziest, most unimaginable, shocking, most beautiful thing you can ever imagine at the end of [the crucifixion].” How does “going all the way down” help us better to understand the resurrection? Why shouldn’t we be happy about the crucifixion?
  3. Shroyer comments, “If the idea of God dying ends up in life, no one could one up that.” She says, “Atheists don’t know the half of it.” “When the God who created the world, co-created the world in the life of the Trinity, dies in the hands of men and women, that’s nihilism.” Why is atheism not particularly insightful in light of the crucifixion?
  4. Shroyer is asked, “Why is [resurrection] beautiful?” “If life can come out of [the worst possible thing we can do to God] then I don’t know what we are worried about that,” she says. How does fear fade in light of the resurrection?
  5. Shroyer refers to the text that says, “Do not be afraid, I have overcome the world.” Shroyer interprets God saying,“I went way deeper than your despair and it was terrible. But I did so that you will be very clear to know all these things can be brought to light. If my death can be brought to light and life all of these things can be brought to life and light.” What are the things that need to be brought to “light and life” for you and your community?

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