The Turning Point of Time
Read | Mark 15:16-39
We often hear the phrase “the crux of the matter” or “the crux of a situation.” The word crux comes from Medieval Latin, and simply means “cross.” Why has the word crux come to be associated with a critical juncture or point in time? Because the cross of Christ is truly the crux of history. Without the cross, history itself cannot be defined or corrected.
There is another word we often hear when we are in the throes of indescribable pain: the word excruciating. That, too, derives from the Latin and means “out of the cross.” Through time and human experience, the historical event of the cross intersects time and space and speaks to the deepest hurts of the human heart.
But we live with more than pain and suffering. We also live with deep hungers within the human heart, such as the hunger for truth, for justice, forgiveness, and peace. As I see it, there is only one place in the world where these hungers converge: It is in the cross of Christ, where perfect peace and perfect justice became united in one death on a Friday afternoon.
The cross defines what love’s entailment’s are. You see, in Christian terms, love does not stand merely as an emotion or even as an expression to just be reconciled to God. In a relationship with God, love ultimately flowers into worship. All earthly relationships as we know them will someday end. It is in worship alone that wonder and truth coalesce, prefiguring the consummation of eternal communion. That enrichment from worship feeds all other relationships and helps us to hold sacred all of life’s needed commitments.
Never has it been more obvious that this world needs redemption—and that redemption is costly. The cross more than ever, in our language and in our longings, is necessary to bridge the divide between God and us and between ourselves. Without the cross, the chasm that separates us all from truth, love, justice, and forgiveness can never be bridged. The depths of mystery and love found in the cross can never be fully plumbed, but it must be the lifelong pursuit of the Christian to marvel at its costliness and to celebrate its meaning.
That is why we celebrate Easter. The cross stands as the defining counter-perspective to everything this world has to offer. As you observe this Holy Week, may you be moved to wonder and worship.