Quote of the Day (Vishal Mangalwadi)

“As Jesus hung upon the cross of Calvary, it was literally the sin of the world that was hanging there at that moment of history. The people who physically saw that crucifixion, whether or not they were Christ’s followers, saw that it was not the justice but the injustice of man that was being carried out that day. In the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Christ, man’s sin was more than visible: man’s disobedience to God, man’s rejection of truth, man’s cruelty, his lies, his hate, his greed, his vested interest, his oppression, his exploitation, his abuse of power, his deliberate choice of evil were all there on the cross for everyone to see, hear and feel. That is why the Biblical statement, that Jesus became the sin of the world, is not some theological mumbo-jumbo, but a statement of historical fact. It was not Jesus who was judged on that cross, but the sin of mankind that was judged and condemned” (Vishal Mangalwadi, Truth and Social Reform (Spire, 1989) p.15).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03126711689901268060 Quixie

    He had me . . . up until that penultimate sentence. The symbol of the crucifixion, as Mangalwadi rightly points, is a beautiful and useful one, but to then call that symbol “history”? Too big a leap for me.Though I agree with his main point, symbols by definition transcend the tangible, transcend history. They are of a different substance. It’s like trying to describe psychology mathematically . . . (or like dancing about architecture).Is the writer Hindu? Just curious.Ó

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    I think he’s an Indian Christian. My understanding of what he wrote was that he meant that the crucifixion was the end of a life of civil disobedience, in which Jesus interacted with the outcasts and marginalized and, having sufficiently upset the establishment, they got rid of him, and in so doing manifested (and exposed to public view) their own evil, their own exploitative use of power. In other words, he was suggesting that the language that is often used of Jesus overcoming evil on the cross was historical and not merely symbolic. When someone dies for challenging a society’s misuse of power, in the act of putting that person to death, the society exposes its own intolerant and oppressive character, sowing the seeds of its own downfall.Maybe the quote I gave wasn’t enough to go on! :) What I’ve been trying to do is share, in addition to recent tidbits I come across, fragments of things I’ve read that made a particularly strong impression. But you know what they say about a text taken out of context…


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