Hermann Sasse on the Hiddenness of God

Nowhere is God more deeply covered and hidden than in the Passion. Gethsemane and the cry of dereliction on the cross shatter every attempt to twist the Gospel into a triumphal epiphany of some savior-god in the manner of the ancient mystery religions, or into a heroic epic. How often the theology of glory has tried to control the Gospel! The miracles have been particularly misunderstood in this way. To be sure, Jesus "manifested His glory" in them, as we are told in the account of the wedding at Cana. But it says explicitly: "His disciples believed in Him." Not the wedding guests, nor the five thousand whom He fed, nor the sick whom He healed, nor even those whom He raised from the dead believed in Him. Also these deeds were both a revealing and a covering of His divine majesty; only in faith did His disciples see His glory. His resurrection also was no demonstration for the world. The empty grave as such convinced no one who did not believe in Him. It could be explained away, as were also HIs miracles of healing (Matt 27:64; Luke 11:28). Faith always deals with what is hidden. Also the faith of the apostles and of the apostolic church that Jesus is Lord was faith in His hidden glory, in God veiled in the flesh, in the true God in the form of true manhood. Nowhere, however, is this hiddenness more profound than in the cross.
(Hermann Sasse, quoted in Treasury of Daily Prayer, 276)


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