The Cross and Darkness
Our Gospel text begins in darkness. How fitting, since the man they thought was the messiah was murdered as a political insurrectionist only two days earlier. (After all what is all this business about crowns, robes, and the king of the Jews?) On the cross, real, total darkness is revealed. This is unbridled human ego, let loose [oh wait isn't that reality TV show?]. Now I don’t think the cross is about the raw fury of God’s wrath revealed, no matter what we learned growing up, the cross has nothing to do with God’s wrath and has all to do with the climax of human rebellion, and wickedness. The cross is a picture of a suffering God who physically sustained that rebellion. The headline on the underground newspaper the morning after would have read, “Even God can’t clean up this mess.” Because that’s how dark this was. For some, Jesus was a real threat to the mass crowd, his sermons, his acts of justice, his healing, his prayers all challenged the empire way of life. And so he had to be shut down. The political and religious leaders wanted it, and so did the “people” of his day. Jesus was killed while working to liberate people from religious, social and political imperialism.
And so Easter morning begins in darkness.
The timing of all of this is of some importance. In John 19 we are told that Jesus dies on the sixth day, the day of preparation just before the Sabbath. And When Jesus died he said “it is finished.”
What was finished?
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