Viewing the World Through the Cross
The cross – during Jesus’ life and for many years before and after, it was a symbol of fear, anxiety, domination and control. It was capital punishment in a most brutal, painful form. The purpose of crucifixion was to dissuade others from doing the same thing that the perpetrator had done. It was also humiliation – a person who was crucified was not even dignified with a loincloth but instead was left to hang naked for hours or even days.
As Lutheran Christians, we believe in looking at the world through a theology of the cross – which means to see God and the world as it really is – not as we want God and the world to be.
Good Friday is a day to see the world as it really is – full of cruelty, hatred, injustice, inequity and sin.
Good Friday is also a day to see God as God really is – boundless in love and forgiveness for us and the world. Luther called God’s gift to us – Christ on the cross – “God’s backside” – the point at which God appeared to be the very contradiction of all that one might reasonably have anticipated God to be.
Holding on to the cross and seeing the world through the cross means seeing through God’s eyes. Staying near the cross means that we don’t worry about our own salvation every moment but instead see the world as God desires it to be – full of love, justice, equality and freedom.
Stay near the cross – not out of fear for your own life after death – Stay near the cross so that you are working with God in this world today.