The paradox of a cruciﬁed savior
Thursday, October 04, 2018
The paradox of a cruciﬁed savior lies at the heart of the Christian story. That paradox was particularly evident in the ﬁrst century when cruciﬁxion was a particular form of execution reserved by the Roman Empire for insurrectionists and rebels.
Crucifixion was a public spectacle accompanied by torture and shame—one of the most humiliating and painful deaths ever to be conceived by human beings. Today we find the symbol of the cross hanging around the necks of many Christians, yet their lifestyles are unencumbered by the gravity of the cross’ meaning. The crucifixion of Christ at Golgotha - ‘A place of the skull’ was not rational or even made sense spiritually until you go through the required critical explanation. We are told in the Old Testament:
If a man guilty of a capital offense is put to death and his body is hung on a tree,
23 you must not leave his body on the tree overnight. Be sure to bury him that same day, because anyone who is hung on a tree is under God's curse. You must not desecrate the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.
A man hung from a tree is under God’s curse. This may have led to Saint Paul to state “ The way of the cross is foolishness to the intellect.”
The cross is a paradoxical religious symbol as it inverts the world’s value system. Hope comes by way of defeat and suffering, and even death does and will not have the last word. Creating a belief that the first is last and the last is first. A view that is needed but significantly lacking in modern Australian society.
The Cross may be absurd to the modern intellect although it is profoundly real to the soul of anyone being persecuted or overlooked by today's political focus.
Enslaved by poor mental health, multi-generational poverty or drug addiction.
Many of today's churches draw a line in the sand and refuse to try to reach the marginalized, who need to hear and be impacted by a Gospel message that is seized on the power of the cross. Christ crucified manifested God’s loving and liberating presence in all its great contradiction. Among the midst of today's suffering and isolation as the gap grows bigger between the middle classes and the hopelessly lost.
We need love, a grace, a contradiction that transcends the present thinking. The belief that will lead all to empower through grasping God’s eschatological future. We will not be defeated by today's political and social views and ignorance no matter how great and painful the suffering we will not be overcome.
Following a belief that is only possible through God’s amazing grace and a gift of faith that is grounded in love, humility, and repentance.
Leaving no room for people to raise themselves up out of their pride and might. Like the people who are deluded enough to think that God called them to rule over others.
The cross was God’s critique of power through powerless in love he snatched victory out of a humiliating defeat. Showing us how life can be made meaningful in the face of death and hope can thrive in suffering.
I dream of seeing a movement of all Christians who believe we can make a stand for the fringes of society and we must help the least as God commanded. Only through living the Gospel of the cross and accepting that we are not genuinely free until all are free-form suffering.
As a Christian, we need to allow suffering to speak and to join together to bring a little bit of Heaven wherever we go. Make a stand and invert our society start at the bottom and work our way to the top, spreading Love and Grace while showing through our walk how repentance works. Only then can we begin to see the real power of the cross.
What do you think?
02 May, 2022