If the Gospel description of the Passion of Jesus Christ is not the record of something real, then there was concealed somewhere in the provinces ruled by Tiberius a supremely powerful novelist who was also, among other things, a highly modern realist. I think this improbable. I think that if there had been such a uniquely realistic romancer, he would have written another romance, with the legitimate aim of money; instead of merely telling a lie, with no apparent aim but martyrdom.
Man can certainly keep on lying (and he does so); but he cannot make truth falsehood. He can certainly rebel (he does so); but he can accomplish nothing which abolishes the choice of God. He can certainly flee from God (he does so) ; but he cannot escape Him. He can certainly hate God and be hateful to God (he does and is so) ; but he cannot change into its opposite the eternal love of God which triumphs even in His hate. He can certainly give himself to isolation (he does so — he thinks, wills and behaves godlessly, and is godless) ; but even in his isolation he must demonstrate that which he wishes to controvert — the impossibility of playing the “individual” over against God. He may let go of God, but God does not let go of him.