Why A Crucifixion?
Curated by Tony Jones
In the third conversation of our #progGOD series, we've invited responses to the question that sits at the very center of Christianity: Why a Crucifixion? Read what progressive Christian bloggers from around the blogosphere have to say about the meaning and significance of Jesus dying on a cross.
#progGOD invites you to join the conversation ... leave a comment below or send your blog link to us at firstname.lastname@example.org...and then spread the word through the hashtag on Twitter.
Toward the Cross we go...
The question of the Crucifixion becomes even more difficult when we move away from the penal substitutionary understanding of the atonement.
The message of the cross is that failure while being faithful to our moral convictions is greater than a so-called success that sacrifices them.
It's human to imagine divine vengeance. It just isn't Jesus, though.
As we work our way closer to the Cross this season I invite you to explore Christian theology that does not begin with a God that needs a blood sacrifice to settle the score.
In contrast to a passionless deity, a meaningful vision of Good Friday proclaims that God suffered - the whole of God suffered - on the cross and in every moment of creaturely suffering.
Whether we are standing up to the powers and principalities of this world, or calling the Church to greater love and service, we are called to be like Christ - and Christ's crucifixion is the ultimate lesson for us in what love and service look like.
In his death, Jesus reveals that the Good News of the Gospel is precisely that God stands on the side of all of those who are abandoned, alone, and forsaken, that God is with them in their forsakenness, has shared their suffering in the person of Jesus Christ, and in the resurrection of Christ, has overcome and redeemed it.
This love chooses to die. Because if it chose not to, it would be going against its very nature and choosing self over others.
The cross does not satisfy an angry God; it is the ultimate proclamation of the love of God.
Jesus had to die because we have to die.
R Jay Pearson
In Jesus' institution of the Holy Law of Love, and in how he lived for it and died for it, we know the Way to Oneness.
The cross gives me permission to mourn - to cry, scream, and wail against God and the injustices of this world.
In a cosmic sense, maybe Jesus had to die in such a way as opposite of Adam and Eve.
If Jesus' death was necessary, it wasn't God who required it. No, if blood was required, it was required by us.
If the cross has less power for us today, then I think maybe it's because we've explained its power away. I think maybe it's because we've turned the cross into a tidy transaction or a shallow symbol.
Jesus was the one who exposed to the world just how destructive it is for a society to resolve tension and disagreements by finding scapegoats to kill.