I wonder when the influence of art, culture, and religious politics convinced the mainstream that peering at a crucifixion was a message of love. Bear with me… on a subtle point that continues to steal from the curiously faithful.
Yes. I know. God is Love and sent His begotten from the depths of that love.
Yet, crucifixion, and the events leading up to this politically motivated homicide (that unknowingly fulfilled scripture) also had a purpose of taking the sin of humanity and putting it on display.
Our sin is and will always be violence. Remember…”Forgive them Father for they no not what they’re doing.”
When we categorize sin we also dilute our greater need for the death of Christ. Furthermore, when some dwell on how ‘lovely’ is ‘Our’ Jesus mounted within a sanitized setting above an altar or others look upon cross without His corpse, we continue to forget humanity’s greatest fault for the Trinity’s greatest virtue. When we lose ourselves in Divine Love we begin to only see ourselves as important. Hence the popularity of a ‘personal relationship with G-d’ and “You Matter” yard signs that perpetually feeds an obese ego. Jesus, I believe, became man so we could focus on human relationships not worship some faraway G-d no one quite understood. He also confronted our need for power with a challenge to love instead. Violence corrodes everything it touches. Its insidious blight leaves many lonely, poor, persecuted, or dead. Hopefully now when we stare long enough at the image of the crucifixion we may come to the understanding that we are saved as a community not some pious winner of Heaven’s golden ticket – because we are so loved.
It is not about you or me but respecting the dignified Image breathed within all of us. How can we ever expect to be known by our Judge when we never loved Him within another. No– you really don’t matter more than we matter.
Motivated by the indelible image atop of Calvary, the faith instilled into a disciple becomes fearless by example and courageous words of peace when faced by humanity’s knee-jerk aggression, even unto death.
Now, treat yourself and read the Beatitudes!
Love one another.