OT: Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Epistle: Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel: John 18:1-19:37
Behold, the cross! Yes, the cross.
This evening, we gather, once again, to confront what we have known was coming all week. Here, we assemble beneath the dark shadow cast before us by the cross of Christ.
What can be said that has not already been said about this instrument of death? How might we get our heads around this suffering of Jesus?
The answer, of course, is that we cannot! We cannot adequately explain the cross. We cannot make it more palatable, or subject it to our own desires for certainty and meaning. This is death we’re talking about, and none of us can fully comprehend death – let alone, the death of the Son of God.
Indeed, the cross resists our comforting certainties; it defies our logic and denies our attempts to choose some higher meaning for it. For sure, we can try to come up with neat atonement theories; we can turn the cross into an existential symbol for suffering; we can even try to make the crucifixion all about our guilt and our sin – in other words, all about us. But here again, the cross refuses such easy apprehensions by us. There simply is no final shifting of focus onto the human condition that can adequately account for everything that’s happening on the cross. Continue reading