Monday, March 28, 2011

The Way of the Cross (17)

When Jesus was crucified, and laid in the tomb, it looked as if things had gone horribly wrong. Just think of the reaction of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. We had hoped that he was the one. Hope crucified. Was it the end of the road for the Jesus project? Had the cross been an unexpected surprise for Jesus?

As we've been seeing (and will continue to see), the cross was not a surprise, but the long-promised path laid out for Jesus the Christ to walk. More than that, the death of the cross would not be the end. The Christ would die and rise again.

I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16: 8-11)

Jesus died and was buried; he was also raised from the dead on the third day, so that his body did not rot, but was glorified and transformed. Death could not hold him, so that the way of the cross is the path of life opened up by Jesus for all who trust in him.

This is the very passage Peter turned to on the Day of Pentecost to show that Jesus' resurrection had been promised beforehand. It's a great passage for us to remember and reflect on as we celebrate Jesus' death and life, and look forward to our own eternal life, sharing that fullness of joy and the pleasures of God forever.

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