Thursday, October 8, 2009
Jesus the Word
Charles Sanders Peirce's definition of a sign is "something which stands to somebody for something in some respect or capacity." Consider the significance of Jesus' being "The Word become flesh." A sign is something-Jesus is something, that is, he exists. A sign "stands to somebody"-Jesus communicated himself to somebody, namely, the Father. A sign "stands to somebody for something"-Jesus stood for the Church, throughout his righteous life culminating in his crucifixion and resurrection. A sign stands to somebody for something in some respect or capacity"- He stands for us as the necessary sacrifice, the sacrificial lamb, appeasing God's wrath and even more, as the epitome of what humanity was meant to be. Jesus/The Word/Sign is, however, distinct from the entity (The Church) for which he stands, just as the signs we use are distinct from the objective realities to which they point. The context in which Jesus is described as the Word, the beginning of John, has obvious similarities to the creation story of Genesis which makes me wonder about the further significance of Jesus creating a new world, a redeemed and glorified world, increasingly better than the original.