Chapter 3, “Christology and Atonement in the New Testament, Part 1”
In chapter 3, Kilcrease begins a walk through the Gospels, showing how Jesus, in his fulfillment of the Old Testament, becomes the atoning sacrifice and the mediator between God and man. The individual Gospels take different views of Jesus and his work as a mediator.
Mark portrays Jesus as the mediator through a pattern of humiliation versus exaltation. Jesus is presented as exalted then humiliated over and over again. Especially as we read the crucifixion narrative, Jesus is presented as the mighty Lord, the offering, and the one who triumphs over death.
Matthew, in contrast to Mark, portrays Jesus as the great divine one who fulfills prophecy. Jesus shows himself as God in a series of five theophanies, corresponding possibly to the five books of Moses. Jesus is shown as the fulfillment of all Moses predicted. He is the one who completes God’s kingdom. He is the Sabbath for God’s people.
In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus is the prophet, the suffering servant, and the one who restores people to God. He does this, especially in Luke, through eating with people, showing himself to be the one who also provides God’s nourishment in the Sacrament.
John portrays Jesus through exaltation and humiliation, but unlike Mark, he allows the two to exist in tension rather than to alternate. Jesus is the true lamb of God, greater than Moses. He is the embodiment of truth, the real mediator.