Negative Achievement

Karl Barth: Epistle to the Romans, iii. 22:

Jesus stands among sinners as a sinner; he sets himself wholly under the judgement under which the world is set; he takes his place where God can be present only in questioning about him; he takes the form of a slave; he moves to the cross and to death; his greatest achievement is a negative achievement. There is no conceivable human possibility of which he did not rid himself. Herein he is recognized as the Christ; for this reason God has exalted him; and consequently he is the light of the Last Things by which all things are illuminated. In him we behold the faithfulness of God in the depths of hell.

A friend of mine is fond of saying, “It’s Jesus’ failure we feast on every week.”

Poetics of Prayer @Izak