Hoe ons oor die skepping en Jesus Christus dink, het verrykende gevolge vir ons verstaan en viering van Paasfees en vir ons hantering van die skepping. Dit baat ons, op meer as een manier, om te luister na hulle wat in die geskiedenis anders hieroor gedink het as die hoofstroom in die kerk.

Christus se koms in die persoon van Jesus van Nasaret was nie ‘n na- of tweede gedagte van God nie. Jesus Christus was nie God se reaksieplan op die sondeval van die mens nie. Hy was van die begin af deel van God se plan. Só bely die Fransiskane sedert die jaar 1209. Iemand wat besonder mooi en helder hieroor skryf, is Thomas Merton. (Hy was in die eerste deel van sy lewe as monnik deel van die Fransiskaanse Orde).

Die rede vir die ontstaan van die skepping en die koms van Christus as die mens Jesus van Nasaret is een en dieselfde rede. Thomas Merton skryf só (Verskoon die eensydige manlike formulerings. Hy was nog nie gender-sensitief nie.):

 

The Lord made the world and made man in order that He Himself might descend into the world, that He Himself might become Man. When He regarded the world He was about to make He saw His wisdom, as a man-child, “playing in the world, playing before Him at all times.” And He reflected, “my delights are to be with the children of men.”

The world was not made as a prison for fallen spirits who were rejected by God … The world was made as a temple, a paradise, into which God Himself would descend to dwell familiarly with the spirits He had placed there to tend it for Him …

The point of (the early beautiful chapters of Genesis) is that God made the world as a garden in which He Himself took delight. He made man and gave to man the task of sharing in His own divine care for created things …

The Lord would not only love His creation as a Father, but He would enter into His creation, emptying Himself, hiding Himself, as if He were not God but a creature. Why should He do this? Because He loved His creatures, and because He could not bear that His creatures should merely adore Him as distant, remote, transcendent and all-powerful. This was not the glory He sought, for if He were merely adored as great, His creatures would in their turn make themselves great and lord it over one another. For where there is a great God, then there are also god-like men, who make themselves kings and masters …

So God became man. He took on weakness and ordinariness of man, and He hid Himself, becoming an anonymous and unimportant man in a very unimportant place. And He refused at any time to Lord it over men, or to be a King, or te be a Leader, or to be a Reformer, or to be in any way superior to His own creatures. He would be nothing else but their brother, and their counsellor, and their servant, and their friend. He was in no accepted human sense an important person, though since that time we have made Him The Most Important Person. 

… yet He is also still the Son of Man, the hidden one, unknown, unremarkable, vulnerable. He can be killed. And when the Son of Man was put to death, He rose again from the dead, and was again with us, for He said: “Kill me, it does not matter …”

For in becoming man, God became not only Jesus Christ but also potentially every man and woman that ever existed. In Christ, God became not only “this” man, but also, in a broader and more mystical sense, yet no less truly, “every man”.*

 

En Fransiskus van Assisi sou hierdie verstaan en kyk na God se skepping en die koms van Christus as Jesus van Nasaret tot sy logiese konsekwensie voer deur die son, maan, wind en water en ander diere sy broers en susters te noem. Dit is asof Fransiskus sê: “As God uit liefde ‘n broer vir my word, word ek uit liefde ‘n broer vir die res van die skepping.”

God sterf dus nie op Golgota in Jesus Christus in die eerste plek as offer om te betaal vir die mens se sonde nie, maar uit liefde. Selfs al sou die sondeval nie plaasgevind het nie, sou God nog altyd as mens na ons toe gekom het. (Ons sou Hom dan sekerlik ook nie doodgemaak het nie!)

Jesus se kruisdood is deel van die uitdrukking van die liefde van die Skepper-God. Nie straffende geregtigheid nie, maar liefde is God se diepste motivering. ‘n Liefde wat herstellend is. So asof God besluit het: “I will love them into wholeness.”

Daarom, sê Richard Rohr (Fransiskaanse stigter van die Centre for Action and Contemplation [CAC] in Alburqueque), is die opgestane Jesus vir wie Maria met die tuinier verwar tog ten diepste wel ook die Tuinier: die Een wat uit liefde selfs bereid is om te sterf vir dit wat Hy/Sy gemaak het.

God die Skepper word self ‘n skepsel, omdat God kies om ‘n mens-broer te wees vir ons. Dalk sal dit vir ons as Gereformeerdes help om bietjie meer oor Jesus as die liefdevolle Tuinier-broer te dink eerder as ‘n offerlam wat boet. Om Hom in die brood en wyn te ontmoet as die Skepper-Tuinier wat liefdevol na my toe kom om spesiaal vir my as deel van Sy tuin te sê: “Ek versorg jou.”

‘n Baie geseënde Paasfees vir julle almal.

david p botha
dpbotha2@gmail.com