The Cross as “Speechless failure”

The most therapeutic exercise for the Christian who is enduring suffering, of whatever sort that might be, is to contemplate the crucifixion of Jesus.

If ever mortal men found a real hero on this earth, those men were disciples. They, indeed, were hero-worshippers. Then think of the horrid shock and shame which overwhelmed them at the Cross. It was no splendid martyrdom for a great cause, no glorious conquest won at the cost of life; no epic to be sung or celebrated. No, the Cross was simply an utter overthrow, a speechless failure. It was all sordid, cruel, criminal, a gross injustice, an intolerable defeat of good by evil, of God by devils…. He their hero, their chosen leader, he was numbered with the transgressors. He was cast out with a curse upon him. Think how loyalty would burn to right this wrong, to clear his memory, to save his reputation, to prove that gross outrage had been done to him, to magnify the life so that the death might be forgotten…. But nothing of the kind seems to have occurred to the Evangelists. They literally glory in the Cross…. They are clear, with an absolute conviction, that the best and most wonderful thing he ever did was… to die a felon’s death, between two robbers. It was their hero’s greatest heroism that he was executed as a common criminal.

–Philip Rhinelander, The Faith of the Cross, cited by Fleming Rutledge, The Crucifixion

Whatever the Christian may endure, the folly of the cross proves itself ever and again as the power of God and the wisdom of God.

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Published in: on February 16, 2017 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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In Christ There Is No East or West

In Christ there is no East or West,
In Him no South or North;
But one great fellowship of love
Throughout the whole wide earth.

In Him shall true hearts ev’rywhere
Their high communion find;
His service is the golden chord
Close binding all mankind.

Join hands then, children of the faith,
Whate’er your race may be;
Who serves my Father as a child
Is surely kin to me.

In Christ now meet both East and West,
In Him meet South and North:
All Christly souls are one in Him
Throughout the whole wide earth.

WORDS: John Oxenham
MUSIC: Alexander R. Reinagle
ST.PETER
8.6.8.6 (CM.)

 

Published in: on February 15, 2017 at 9:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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