In popular American stories, defeat is used either to amplify our sense of good vs. evil or to indulge the illusion that we, the supposed underdogs, will be victorious in the end. Consumed uncritically, these stories reinforce a self-percieved victimhood, amplify our self-righteousness, and dull our minds with false consolations about suffering, death, and loss. In the Gospel of Mark, the defeat of Jesus operates in an entirely different way.
In Mark 15, the Cross is not a “jam” into which Jesus became stuck, but a stumbling-block for all those who see themselves either as victims or as the “good guys.” The defeat of Jesus is not a suspenseful plot device strategically placed to indulge our gluttony for triumph in the end. On the contrary, the Cross is our defeat. Full stop. As if to amplify this point, the biblical writer slows the story down, marking the passage of the hours to ensure that every insult is keenly felt. It is only in this state of shame and humiliating defeat, wrought by obedience, that we come to understand the difficult meaning of Psalm 22.
Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Mark 15:23-32
Episode 208 Mark 15:23-32; “Andreas Theme” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/
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