Friday, April 6, 2012

The Cross of Christ: Utterly Horrifying, Yet Thank God!

by Mike Chapman

"He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." - Isaiah 53:5

As most of you know, we are concluding the season of Lent this weekend with the Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. (Actually, Lent officially and technically ends before the Triduum begins. The Triduum directly follows the end of Lent. The Triduum begins with the Liturgy in the evening of Maundy Thursday and ends with sundown on Resurrection Sunday. This is three days, running from sundown to sundown, as the Jewish days did. ) Easter is Sunday, in which we celebrate our risen Lord. Why am I posting this kind of "religious" article on a paranormal investigating Team's blog site? That's easy. It's because as a Team we operate out of a Christian worldview in our understanding of the after-life. Of course, as many mistakenly think, that precludes us from also using science. Nothing could be further from the truth. Having a Christian worldview gives us the best of both worlds actually. We can use science to the degree it can operate, but when science begins to fail (because it is material/physical limited, or reduced) our Christian faith provides objective truth into the after-life rather than a subjective "I'll just believe what I want to believe about the after-life" kind of flea market thinking that many in our culture today have. The Christian faith has a reason AND faith-based foundation for its approach to the world beyond the "normal."

But epistemology is another story for another blog post. What I want to focus upon now is a brief insight into Christ's passion...the agony he experienced in his torture and death upon the Cross. One of the commitments that many of us made for Lent, was to go back and watch the movie, The Passion of Christ. This form of execution by the Romans was borrowed from the Carthaginians, and was horrible. On Holy Thursday, Christ's enemies came for him in the darkness, as if ashamed. His enemies always "operate in darkness," whether it is the darkness of sheer evil or the darkness of ignorance. (This is true today as well.) He told them when they came for him that he had operated in front of them in the broad daylight, but they chose the wee hours of the morning to do their business. What a contrast!

In the service at Mass last night, we were reminded of Christ's sacrifice on the cross for us on that Friday so long ago. What a horror to behold and to think about...yet, thank God he did it. We call it "Good" Friday. That is because now, from what he willingly suffered, we have an opportunity for salvation and a restored relationship with Him. The cross is utterly horrifying, and at the same time we whisper a sincere, "Thank You!" A Christ himself told the disciples on the road to Emmaus, "O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" (Luke 24:25-26). Yes, it was utterly brutal, but it was necessary for our salvation. Of this, we should be deeply horrified, but also deeply grateful.

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