Thursday, 6 August 2009

Domesticating The Crucified III: Making the Cross Our Own


This is going to sound wrong, but it is dangerous to make the cross our own. There is a sense in which it is essential to be united with the crucified Christ: we can reflect on it, mystically enter into it, and physically follow the crucified Christ. But this also has the effect of making the cross less uncomfortable, even when our embrace of it leads us into suffering. We imitate and emulate and participate and the raw shock of the crucified God can dissolve. That God becomes human and is given over completely to powerlessness in the face of evil and is lifted into the finality of death is truly shocking. The desertion of Jesus is abhorrent to religion, our sense of justice and to the image of God that we use to protect us from the rawness of life. The resurrection to new life does not diminish the repugnance of the cross, but makes it even more frightening: life comes through abandonment and the giving over to death. (Not just seeming abandonment.)

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