Friday, September 14, 2012

If there had been no cross....

If there had been no cross, Christ would not have been crucified. If there had been no cross, Life would not have been nailed to the tree. If he had not been nailed, the streams of everlasting life would not have welled from his side, blood and water, the cleansing of the world; the record of our sins would not have been cancelled, we would not have gained freedom, we would not have enjoyed the tree of life, paradise would not have been opened. If there had been no cross, death would not have been trodden under foot, the underworld would not have yielded up its spoils.

How great the cross, through which we have received a multitude of blessings, because, against all reckoning, the miracles and sufferings of Christ have been victorious!
From a homily by St Andrew of Crete, Office of Readings for the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.


  1. For their rejection of Christ (and his eventual death) the Jews in Jerusalem in AD33 were held responsible for the death (and rejection) of God the Son. God avenged this by the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. But what would the situation be if He had not died on the Cross? Is this just one of the many unfathomable paradoxes in the Bible. (Which is definitely NOT meant as an attack on the Bible, in case anyone might be thinking that it is.) Similarly the Jews were held responsible for the death of Christ and persecuted down the years. But should not Christians have been grateful as how else would our salvation have been achieved? I’m maybe not putting this very well but without Christ dying on the Cross we would have no redemption and for Christ to die on the Cross, somebody had to put him to death.

    1. The rejection by the Jews of Christ is symbolic of the rejection by mankind of God's provident care, beginning with the rebellion of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, continued through the history of Israel of covenant, disobedience, renewal of covenant etc. etc. The Church does not hold the Jews responsible for the death of Christ. St Peter, himself a Jew, invited his fellow Jews to repent of their rejection of the Christ and to believe.

      The Cross is the sign of the depths of God's love. He continues today to woo his unfaithful bride, whether that be the People of Israel (as described in the Old Testament), the Church and her members, us today. Yes, there are many paradoxes. Christ did not come to be rejected but to be accepted, (he came unto his own, but his own accepted him not) although he knew, obviously, that there would be rejection. And so the paradoxes we find in the Scriptures are to be meditated upon. Only in prayer and contemplation can we discover the mystery of obedience, oblation, sacrificial love, forgiveness. Reading the Fathers is a great help.

      The destruction of the temple is also not just punishment but fulfillment. Jesus is the Temple.


Please avoid being 'anonymous' if at all possible.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...