The Holy Atrocious Friday

The Gospels tell of Jesus’ bitter denunciation of the Father’s abandonment. This was the moment when Jesus lost everything– his followers, his kingdom, his God. The death of Jesus made evident that in the incarnation God took upon Godself the totality of human experience.

Here we encounter what Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek refers to as the perverse core of Christianity in which “ when Christ dies, what dies with him is the secret hope discernible in ‘Father, why hast thou forsaken me?’: the hope that there is a father who has abandoned me.”[1] This is the event horizon that precedes the life-giving death of Jesus. Jesus’ experience of forsakenness by God, ushered in the moment of death when all of human structures of existence were grasped within the experience of God. Our human experience, including death, at that moment was made part of God’s own life.

[1] Slavoj Zizek, The Puppet and the Dwarf : The Perverse Core of Christianity (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2003), 171.


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