Saturday, April 11, 2009

What is Truth?

What is Truth?

This is an odd question that Pilate puts to Jesus in the Good Friday Gospel. The text makes it seem that Christ never answers this, because immediately after putting this question before the Saviour, we go immediately to the Scourging and the Ecce Homo scenes. But Christ does answer it. He answered it immediately before it was asked, and He answered it another way.

Immediately before Pilate asks his question, Christ says "For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. And this makes it seem that He came into the world for His public ministry. But even so, it doesn't answer the question of what is the truth to which Christ came to testify. The answer is simple. It is not what Christ said that was so important, or the one purpose for which He came into the world, it was what He did, what He was doing right at that minute. The first reading gives us the clue as to the Truth to which He testified: But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins, Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed.

Just as on Maundy Thursday Christ acted out the Supper, so on Good Friday He acts out the Truth. He came into the world to die for us, because only He could. He came into the world to rise for us, because only He could triumph over death. This is the Truth. Did He answer Pilate? In a sense, He had Pilate answer it for himself, "Ecce Homo." It is why that scene follows almost immediately after the question. He is scourged (i.e. stripes) and adorned as a King, and we -- the sinful people -- asking for Him to be crucified. The very fact that He then answers Pilate that Pilate's role is one permitted by a Willful Act from Above proves that He heard our cry for His crucifixion and assented (He had assented before all Time, of course).

What is Truth? This is the Truth.

1 comment:

Pr. Lehmann said...

Luther: You cannot make Jesus into too much of a man.