SPOILER ALERT: The best example of this is the Keeper. Unfortunately, I had this surprise ruined for me by a review on Amazon, so I kind of saw it coming. But I'll be honest, I thought it was cool. The way Overstreet presents it, the Keeper is the beastie who lurks in people's dreams, an uncontrollable monster that the people of Abscar seem to rightly fear but has some unexplainable connection to Auralia. But, as the story unfolds, we realize that the Keeper is not a horrific monster but, surprise surprise, a rough analogue to God. Or Christ. I'm still trying to put all the pieces together to figure out which precisely. Although, come to think of it, the distinction isn't as clear as I just made it sound.Sorry about the tangent. Anyway... The Keeper. I have to admit, I had never envisioned Christ as a big monster that lurks in the bottom of a lake. Let's face it, when most people think of Jesus, the picture Him like this:
Very friendly, very serene. Not at all a monster.
And yet, the reason why we think of Him that way is because we know the end of the story. When we do walk with Jesus on the roads of Galilee and Judea, we do so knowing that He's heading to the cross and the empty tomb. We know who He is and what He is. We know what His motivation is and why He does what He does (for the most part). We don't see Jesus as a monster because to us, He's not.
But then, we don't suffer from "the scandal of the immediate," as Dr. Paul Maier calls it. Like I said, we see Jesus and we see Him as the loving Messiah, the one sent to redeem the world. But that's not how the first century Jewish leadership saw Him. To them, He was a monster and a scary one, best eliminated and forgotten about. To the Pharisees, He was a sinner who encouraged people to break the covenant law, putting them in double jeopardy. Not only might they be punished for impiety with another exile, the Messiah might never arrive as well.
To the Sadducees, Jesus was a rabble rouser, a potential rallying point for those who wanted to disrupt the status quo with the Romans. If things were allowed to go too far, the Romans would have to quash the rebellion, which could result in the Sadducees losing power and the center of their existence, the Temple.
To both, Jesus was a monster. He had to be eliminated. The only reason why we don't see Him that way is because we see Him through the lens of faith. Since we know the end of the story, since we have that relationship of faith, we don't see Him that way. We see Him as the "tame" Messiah with the loving heart in the same way that Auralia and Cal-raven see the Keeper.
The important thing, I guess, is to remember the not-so-tame Messiah. After all, to rip off C.S. Lewis a little, the Keeper is not a tame beastie. But he is good. And so is Christ.
Be sure to check out what the rest of the blog tour participants are saying:
Carol Bruce Collett
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Heather R. Hunt
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirtika or Mir's Here