Heavenly High Priesthood, Cruciformity, & Frightened Rabbit

I love this line from the Hays quote I posted earlier.  It sort of sticks a finger in the eye of a Platonic worldview:

Jesus “has cleansed their consciences through the embarrassingly palpable act of sprinkling his own human blood around in the heavenly sanctuary, in the very presence of God.”

As I read back over it a few times, all I could think of was “Head Rolls Off” by Frightened Rabbit.  Especially these lines:

I believe in a house in the clouds
And God’s got His dead friends ‘round
He’s painted all the walls red
To remind them they’re all dead

It’s a bit of an elusive song, but I love its wonder, its sense of mystery, its hope, and its resolve.

What also strikes me most is its blending of cruciformity and mission.  When I speak with people about cruciformity and they’ve not encountered it previously, it inevitably strikes them as passive or escapist.  I think that’s because of the shriveled imagination of our modern world, which is tremendously unfortunate.

As the song says, truly inhabiting our dying in Christ (our being one of God’s dead friends) “isn’t morbid at all.”  In fact, it makes possible a life—and a community—flooded with resurrection power and animated by hope.

And cruciform lives that embody resurrection power are filled with humility.  We take our place in the long train of human experience on this earth, seeking to spread shalom just that much more.  We want to see pain absorbed by relief, conflict overcome with reconciliation, and alienation transformed into embrace.

I just love this tune.  If you find it odd, morbid, or grim, remember they’re a bunch of Scottish lads from Fife.

Here are the lyrics to the entire song:

Jesus is just a Spanish boy’s name
How come one man got so much fame?
And to enemy, it’s pointless to anybody
That doesn’t have faith
Give me the cloth and I’ll wipe my face
 
When it’s all gone, something carries on
And it’s not morbid at all
Just when nature’s had enough of you
When my blood stops, someone else’s will not
When my head rolls off, someone else’s will turn
And while I’m alive, I’ll make tiny changes to earth
 
So you can burn me
‘Cause we’ll all be the same, the same way
Dirt in someone’s eyes cried down the drain
I believe in a house in the clouds
And God’s got His dead friends ‘round
He’s painted all the walls red
To remind them they’re all dead
 
And you know when it’s all gone, something carries on
And it’s not morbid at all
Just when nature’s had enough of you
When my blood stops, someone else’s will not
When my head rolls off, someone else’s will turn
You can mark my words, I’ll make changes to earth
 
While I’m alive, I’ll make tiny changes to earth
Tiny changes to earth, tiny changes to earth
Tiny changes to earth
 
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2 responses to “Heavenly High Priesthood, Cruciformity, & Frightened Rabbit

  • Jaime Hancock

    Tim,
    This is a great lyric, even if a bit unsettling at first. :)
    I think the thing about cruciform living that is so unsettling to us, is that it forces us to continually get rid of our idols. Many of us are so set in our idolatries from our particular religious heritage, that when we first encounter the idea of truly cruciform living, it seems somehow both weak and dangerous. I think this is exactly the problem that the religious leaders of Jesus’ day had with Him. He couldn’t possibly be strong enough to be the Messiah, but yet, He was dangerous enough that they had to deal with Him. So He became a necessary “sacrifice” to keep their idolatry going, and yet mercifully, He became the sacrifice that brings redemption from our own idolatry.

    Grace and Peace,
    Jaime

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