Friday, March 25, 2016

The Crucified and Redeeming Lord

 Good Friday + Year C    
Fr. Robert R.M. Bagwell+
25, March 2016
Isaiah 52:13-53:12                                                                                                                                                                   Psalm 22 
Hebrews 10:16-25  or Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9                                                                                  
 John 18:1-19:42

No!  It couldn't have happened.  God where are you? Why God? Why?  I believe that the disciples had such thoughts and others.  What was this?  Shock, disbelief, disillusionment fear, and myriad other such emotions.  But it wasn't about them, what was coming was about every man, woman and child ever born.

Today is the day that changed the world. Heaven and earth, in their respective bunkers,  fought for the sake of heaven to win back the sons and daughters of earth.  All of human history, from the beginning, has led up to this day, that hour, that sacrifice on the altar of a Roman cross.   Think of it!  A wondrous birth in Bethlehem, accompanied by the heavenly hosts praising God and saying glory to God, on earth peace to those with whom He is pleased. Holy men from the East greeted him as the Great One who was coming.  He was born of a woman who had never had sexual relations with a man.  He was proclaimed by a holy widow in the temple and another prayerful servant who had received prophecy from God! He astounded wise men at the Temple in Jerusalem when he was twelve. He gained a following, changed water into wine, caused a voice from heaven at His baptism to affirm him as My beloved Son!  He continued to produce signs, no human could perform including bringing life from death, producing bread and fish out of nothing but prayer. 

The portent of all of this, was that the human genocide Lucifer had intended, the plans of the fallen angels from the beginning suddenly were opposed by an intervention from the Creator.  To all of these signs, the ever jealous, under-performer Lucifer screamed NO!   The rulers of this human race screamed NO!  Nothing like this had ever happened, the darkness exercised its might and Light overcame it.

The axis of  God-story or His-story was winding its way to partial fulfillment. By the time all of this was said and done, Lucifer's plan to thwart God's plan of salvation for the human race, would have been thwarted by the very means Hell sought use to destroy it.  Oops!

I Corinthians  5 tells us "for Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us.  In some sense he is always being sacrificed because, every time we sin, Christ's blood covers our transgressions. The writer to the Hebrews invokes : the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him'

As he wrote in his great work The Crucified God, of professer Jurgen Moltmann, writes: The religion of the cross is a contradiction in itself for the crucified God is a contradiction of this religion.   Yet this transforming reality has changed the world.  Through the horror of the cross, the curse of sin has been broken and we are changed from the inside out. Why do we sing of the cross incessantly, because it is the power for those who are being saved. (I Cor 1:18)

Yes the Resurrection is to be proclaimed, but do not forget what Paul wrote to the Romans: Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength ( I Cor 1:18)

Today our reverent hush, our solemn stillness is not like a funeral home to show respect.  Today our reverent hush is at the wonder, the awe, the unfathomable of what great love. The love of God that brought us home to the God who created us and gave his own son out of love to be The Crucified God.

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