This is not an act of God.

Jesus, has been preaching of the approaching reign of God; living and teaching and healing and loving in a way that brings God into the midst of people’s suffering and struggles.  Jesus want’s no glory for himself – no sympathy, either.  Luke reports that along the route taken by the condemned prisoners, the soldiers enlist the help of one Simon of Cyrene to  carry Jesus’ cross.  Luke describes the scene: a stranger – a pilgrim – forced into this grim parade.  Jesus in front; Simon, following, carrying the beam on which Jesus will be killed; and a great number of people following, wailing and beating their breasts in grief for Jesus.  But Jesus tells them not to cry for him, but for themselves.

This is not an act of God.  Human ignorance and human pride drive this spectacle to its grisly conclusion.  Human authority, afraid of the truth.  Human wisdom, so certain that it can admit no competition.  Human power, which will be revealed as a sham by the compassion and miraculous love of Jesus.

We killed Jesus, and we continue to find ways to dismiss the power of God; the wisdom of God; the authority of God – all of which Jesus revealed as sacred and desirable.

Crucifixion is the easy way out – and those who would prefer their own power to the power of God can always raise another cross – their power resides in fear, and the cross is a fearful object.  But Jesus, who still weeps for us; who would have us turn from the false hope of human power and turn toward the power of God; Jesus turns the cross into a demonstration of God’s power.  The sin of our arrogance and pride – that is what kills Jesus.  But Jesus resolute commitment to the things of God – God’s love, justice, mercy and grace – Jesus complete devotion to those things is an act of faith almost impossible to imagine.  And that faith will bring his story to an earth-shattering conclusion.

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