Love or the Law?
God writes divine Law on the entrails of the species, homo religiosus. Jesus never questioned the ability of His Father to write His Law wherever He wished, or the ability of man to comprehend the Law, if properly motivated by Love. In actuality, Jesus makes unconditional support of the Law a requirement for Kingdom membership. Jesus is a Jew of Jews. As the Hebrew Bible assumes God and works from there, Jesus assumes the Law and makes a bee-line to Love.
The genius message of Jesus, the Christ, is a fusion of love for His abba with a visceral affection for the Law. Jesus does exhibit a true longing for the Kingdom, where, as He taught, Love and Righteousness (law keeping) would be married for eternity.
A tragedy posits a set of conditions which, if allowed to continue to their natural end, will result in an unhappy conclusion for the protagonist of the tale. Hamlet is a tragic figure, as is Lincoln, as is Sadat. Powerful forces outside their purview conspire to make a sad end to heroic virtue. Nobility is often praised, more often despised and no less made the victim of historical forces, usually those appealing to pragmatic motivations. The Jesus-Savior story is the most tragic tale in human history, as the ancient conflict between Good and Evil collide one Friday afternoon.
In fact, the tragic conflict of the Eros vs. Authority conflict is simply this; that it is in the body of a man that Love and the Law cease their agon.The Gospels undeniably set the Christ above Torah. For the Jewish reader, who believe the Torah is Yahweh, this sets the human male Yeshua bar Joseph over the Eternal God of the Cosmos and so is blasphemous beyond tolerance. Modern Torah readers, for this foundational reason, decry even the mention of a Judeo-Christian heritage.
The conflict is between Love and Law. Christians settled the animosity by accepting Jesus as the fulfillment of the Law and the incarnation of divine Love. The Christian Realist settles his problems when he insists that Jesus, the Christ,comes to us from outside ourselves to show us truths about God we could never apprehend if left to ourselves. So, Jesus is the reconciling piece between the intractable Law of God and the trackless Love of God. Jesus is the alpha and the omega, the Law Giver and the Love Bringer, the author and finisher of our Faith.
How can anyone tell another of the Love of God in Christ Jesus, who fulfills the Law, implying the perfect, immutable Law of God, traced by fingers of flame on tablets of stone, is somehow incomplete until His coming? There is perhaps a way.
One might say that, to be a Christian, actually, means to resist the established order. No one is a Christian naturally, though one may certainly be influenced by an early Christian home life. No, Christ-following is a choice; one reorders one's daily schedule for Christ-following. The established order of experience is set aside, former "givens" are no longer "taken," one's presumptions change, once and for all. The Christ-follower is a perpetual pioneer, never apprehending but always in pursuit of the Lawful Love of God.
Kierkegaard put it, "Christianity has conquered—that is, it is abolished."
So, one might ask another to go on a journey with us. Along the way we will encounter numerous stops. Some of the walk is uphill. Strong head winds prevail and there will be long, hot days on the march. However, the trip is as good as its end, the companionship is sweet and the trek strengthens the body. There are good places to rest along the way. The trip is worth the pain of separation it requires.