We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Read St John Ch 19 v25- 30, or St Mark Ch 15 v33-37/St Matthew Ch 27 45-54/Luke Ch 23 v44-48.
We face again the journey of exploration into our relationship with the crucified God in Jesus. How has it come to this? This Jesus colliding with authority and put to death is not just one more crucifixion in the history book, for this death is different. Never before and in no one else had God and humanity coincided so completely. Human sin and perversity were brought to a climax, the fear, jealousy, ambition that brought Jesus to the cross were embedded in the long story of humanity before and since. And the resources with which Jesus met them were Gods resources of love, dignity, forgiveness and acceptance.
The cross is the price that Jesus pays in this world for all those reckless words of hope and boundless love, those sharp stories against the powerful and rich, dinner parties with those on the edge of society.
The cross is the key that opens Gods new world telling us that there is nothing which God does not understand and in Jesus God himself enters into human agony and darkness.
When Jesus died something had been achieved but in no sense was the purpose of his life finished. St John and the early church understood the words ‘it is finished’ to refer to the completion of a task, What Jesus achieved was a heart and mind completely open to God and life, daily offered to be the bearer of God’s love in the world. We learn too that there is nothing automatic in love. It is a living world of giving and receiving, of gesture and response and we are called to live this now.
We are convinced of the centrality of the Cross but. we are wisely reluctant to define and limit its meaning, we face this death again, personally. What does Jesus life and death mean for my life?
‘In his death agony, he spoke to every one of us and said yes to everything that makes us truly human. Christ is our consent, our Amen, to existence’ Ladislaus Boros. Breaking through to God
A simple prayer which stays with Jesus on the cross and in so doing invites us to face our own journey:
Jesus, by your wounded feet, guide me through this life.
Jesus, by your nailed hands, use mine for deeds of love.
Jesus, by your pierced side, cleanse my desires.
Jesus, by your crown of thorns, destroy my pride.
Jesus, by your silence, share my complaints.
Jesus, by your parched lips, curb my cruel speech.
Jesus, by your closing eyes, forgive all my sins.
Jesus, by your broken heart, fill mine with love for you
It Is finished, the journey has been made, a world transformed by love
‘Christ has no body now on earth but yours.’ Teresa of Avila.
– Patrick Evans