The Mediation of Reconciliation


Thomas F. Torrance, "The Mediation of Reconciliation," in The Mediation of Christ (Exeter: Paternoster Press, 1983), 34-56


Torrance, Thomas F. "The Mediation of Reconciliation." In The Mediation of Christ, 34-56. Exeter: Paternoster Press, 1983

Publication life cycle / General notes

See related audio recording #1981-TFT-5b.

Discussed in the Torrance Reading Group on April 1, 2021. Discussion: Video. (Download the discussion handout from the link in the right sidebar.)

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Pagination and headings indicated below are taken from the later 1992 edition.

  • [Introduction], p. 25.
  • Israel's Partnership with God, p. 26.
  • Reconciliation through Israel and in Jesus, p. 32.
  • The Vicarious Life and Death of the Mediator, p. 39.
  • Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?, p. 42.
  • Reconciliation with One Another in Christ, p. 45.

Pagination indicated below is taken from the later 1992 edition.

"One day several years ago when I was visiting a kibbutz in Galilee I met a Christian Jewish couple who told me that they were the only believers in the kibbutz for the others were all agnostics or atheists. When I asked why they were unbelievers, I was told that they were all people or children of people who had come out of the concentration camps, and that they had abandoned God because they claimed that he had abandoned them in their time of affliction. When I heard that I felt that the terrible cry of Jesus on the Cross was meant for them: Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani? 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' That was a cry of utter God-forsakenness, the despairing cry of man in his dereliction which Jesus had made his own, taking it over from the twenty-second Psalm, thereby revealing that he had penetrated into the ultimate horror of great darkness, the abyssal chasm that separates sinful man from God. But there in the depths where we are exposed to the final judgments of God, Jesus converted man's atheistical shout of abandonment and desolation into a prayer of commitment and trust, 'Father unto thy hands I commend my spirit.' The Son and the Father were one and not divided, each dwelling in the other, even in that 'hour and power of darkness' when Jesus was smitten of God and afflicted and pierced for our transgressions. In Jesus God himself descended to the very bottom of our human existence where we are alienated and antagonistic, into the very hell of our godlessness and despair, laying fast hold of us and taking our cursed condition upon himself, in order to embrace us for ever in his reconciling love. He did that in such an incredible way that he pledged his very Being incarnate in Jesus for us as the immutable ground of our salvation and peace against all the onslaughts of the forces of evil." (pp. 43-44)