The Contradiction of the Cross
By Andre Rabe On April 22, 2013
The cross is the greatest contradiction. It is an evil act of murder and it is our salvation. This horrific death is the ultimate goal of false accusation, but simultaneously it exposes the deception of this accusation and so forever strips it of its power.This scripture summarizes the tension of this paradox: “For the Son of Man will go just as it is written about Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.””(Mark 14:21 HCSB)
In other words, it is God’s plan but it is an evil act that should not happen. The scriptures simultaneously declares that he was innocent, that he was unjustly accused, that those who murdered him was guilty of the blood of all innocent victims … it was wrong in every way, yet the scriptures maintain that this was exactly what had to happen.
If we become so familiar with the story that we no longer see the contradiction, then we’ve missed the central revelation contained in it. Like all other pagan ideas of sacrifice, much of christianity looks at this sacrifice and are mystified by its magical powers – we allow the very revelation it is supposed to bring, to be swallowed up by sacred awe.
The murder of the innocent man Jesus Christ can never be justified – it was wrong! He was falsely accused and brutally abused by a frenzied ignorant crowd. Nowhere else was the true nature of our religious and secular institutions revealed more clearly than in this senseless violence. This is where God in all his innocence, in his most vulnerable state, faced evil in its most articulate expression – the unjustified violence of man. Evil incarnate met God incarnate.
Yet it is exactly here where evil is most real, that God intersects, turning our act of murder into our salvation. He uses the occasion of our most brutal violence to demonstrate His most extravagant love. He bore the brunt of our hostile minds, of our sinful thoughts. The event in which we bruised him and wounded him, is met with healing. At the very moment in which our rejection of him is absolute, he demonstrates our absolute acceptance.
However, we have often ascribed both the good and the evil of the cross to God! Lets expose that myth.God obviously anticipated these events. He knew that the open display of truth, in a world bound by myth, would be a confrontation with only one possible result. The very fabric upon which our societies were build, the false accusation, the prince (principle) of this world, the father of lies, would not take to this exposure kindly. Yes God knew and planned to make the most of this confrontation, but in no way is He the source of the violence that it exposes. In no way does He delight in the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.
The unjustified torture and death of the innocent Jesus Christ does not satisfy God’s justice in the sense that He delights in this punishment. The blood of Jesus does not satisfy the blood-lust of an angry God. Such theories is a mixture of ancient pagan thought and the very biblical revelation that came to expose the corruption of these myths. We were the angry deities who satisfied our blood-lust in this iconic murder.Why would God then use such an event? The scriptures describe this event as God’s victory over evil. In what way did He conquer evil?
This was the event in which the deceiver would deceive himself; the act in which our unfounded accusations would be exposed for what it is. The story that would deconstruct all our myths into the nothingness that they are.
These false models are exposed in the very moment when our true model is revealed. We are now able to see the true God and reflect Him – a God who loves and adores; a God in whom there is no accusation.
Wherever the gospel is declared and understood, sacrificial systems cease; victimization ceases, the oppressed and downcast are given hope by a God who identifies with them; a God who is able to overthrow the established corrupt overlords and make all things new.