Friday, April 22, 2011

Questions for going deeper with the Scriptures for Friday, April 22nd
Questions for Good Friday | Mark 15:1-47

Crucifixion was the worst way to die in the world of the Roman Empire.  It was reserved as the death penalty for the very worst of criminals and traitors.  It’s ironic that Jesus dies in this painfully slow and public way.  He who spoke of love without walls, new paradigms of community, direct experience of God’s presence, is denied all of those things.  The inspiration for non-violence the world over, paradoxically dies the most violent of deaths imaginable.   Jesus assumes the worst of the human condition, in order to liberate us from our worst nightmares. How does his life and death turn the world upside down when there is so much suffering all around us?  Is it his blood that frees us as a sacrifice in our place?  Does he overcome evil but submitting to it freely?  Does his death unmask the powers that are at work in the world?  Is his example of costly love universe-changing? There are multiple theories about how his death atones for our brokenness.  Yet all agree that the cross affirms the lengths to which God goes to convince of us his love.  The radical solidarity with which he stands alongside the poor, abused and persecuted.  The way in which who God is runs completely counter to what we imagine.  The Apostle Paul claims that you can’t preach Christ, without preaching “Christ Crucified”. That paradox is why we dare to call this “Good Friday” when it seems to be anything but good.  How does this disturb you? How is it a scandalous message for our culture today?

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