Tuesday, November 08, 2005

contemporary atonement images

Arab parents donate son’s kidney to Israeli

The family of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, killed by Israeli soldiers, this weekend donated his kidney to an Israeli boy who desperately needed a transplant. “It doesn’t matter,” they said, “whether the recipient was a Jew or an Arab.” Ahmed Khatib was shot in the head and pelvis on Thursday during a firefight in the West Bank city of Jenin.


This has hints of atonement; a body given that others might live, a body broken to remove barriers between the alienated, the Jew and Gentile.

It is a similar approach to atonement as taken by the movie Jesus of Montreal, in which the body of the actor Daniel becomes eyes for the blind and a new heart for the diseased.

Did anyone get a video tape of this on the news? I’m thinking about using it for communion on Sunday nite.

Posted by steve at 06:01 PM


  1. Every time i read or hear of people doing things like this i am aware of the presence of God and the thought that there is still hope for humans.

    This knowledge of presence and the subsequent hope is then tempered by (usually) the next story of war or some crisis that faces a certain people/persons.

    I still believe that humans are wonderful, loving beings but i wonder if the drive for instant self gratification sometimes overwhelms our abilities to be what God expects of us.

    Yor thoughts on this would be appreciated.

    Comment by Warwick — November 8, 2005 @ 10:56 pm

  2. Jim,
    Your point about the boy’s lack of choice is well made, although I was also thinking about this atonement image from a Trinitarian perspective… the boy’s parents had to make some willing choices and in this they parrallel the love of the Father.
    So yet it is limited in terms of the choices of the Son, but surely it opens up the life-giving love of the Father (Moltmann like echoes ringing here).

    Comment by Steve — November 9, 2005 @ 9:20 am

  3. It was both a heartbreaking and an inspiring story. I *almost* cried at work when I read it. Yes, there is scope for atonement analogies, but let’s not diminish the significance of Ahmed Khatib’s story, his parents’ and that of the Israeli girl and boy whose lives were saved by receiving his lung and liver; by being too ready to compare their stories to that of Jesus, we can forget that Ahmed was real-life boy, who really was shot by mistaken soldiers, and whose parents actually donated his organs to save the lives of their enemies’ children.

    Comment by Fraser — November 10, 2005 @ 2:02 pm

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