'Where you stand determines what you see'
Archbishop Justin Welby reflects on the limits of seeing things from just one side on Radio 4's 'Thought for the Day'
There are lessons that can be gleaned in the differing reports on the Cyprus bailout, the Archbishop of Canterbury reflected in his Thought for the Day on Radio 4 this Good Friday morning.
The Most Reverend Justin Welby noted two stories he saw side by side on the £10bn bailout for Cyprus, one reporting the satisfaction felt over the deal, the other telling of a nation in despair and companies running out of money.
"As we all know well, where you stand determines what you see. Good editing of that paper made me see two views. The impact was more powerful because neither made any comment. They just told the story," he said.
"In the different accounts of the crucifixion there is a similar grim sense of factual narrative. The remorseless process of crucifixion is recounted sparingly.
"The injustice of trial, the casual flogging, the mockery, are narrated without much description of the emotion or pain. Two groups went away at the end of the process. One was the ruling class.
"A tough but necessary job was done, and done well and neatly. The others were the women who supported Jesus and a few disciples. They left traumatised, fearful, despairing, every dream of the future gone. Both were wrong."
He went on to speak of the God who is "not held down" by human failure, foolishness, wickedness and injustice.
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While one group hated Jesus and saw a "mere man", the power of His love swallowed the hate and destroyed it.
The distraught women on the other hand discovered a love that was "more than merely human".
"They saw Jesus as wonderful but defeated. The next few days would show that he was in fact utterly triumphant and far more than wonderful," he said.
Archbishop Welby continued: "Good Friday is an extraordinary day. Whoever you are, whether rulers and rich, or ordinary people dealing with the worst of times, the death of Jesus is both a challenge and a promise of hope.
"The challenge is to show that same self-giving love for the sake of others. The promise is that nothing is beyond His reach and even despair can be healed.
"Whoever you are, whether rulers and rich, or ordinary people dealing with the worst of times, the death of Jesus is both a challenge and a promise of hope."