On this Good Friday, and for my 100th post, i share with you this reflection on the cross by frederick buechner from his book "Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC:"
Two of the noblest pillars of the ancient world--Roman law and Jewish piety--together supported the necessity of putting Jesus Christ to death in a manner that even for his day was peculiarly loathsome. Thus the cross stands for the tragic folly of human beings, not just at their worst but at their best.
Jesus needn't have died. Presumably, he could have followed the advice of friends like Peter and avoided the showdown. Instead he chose to die because he believed that he had to if the world was to be saved. Thus the cross stands for the best that human beings can do as well as for the worst.
"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Jesus died in the profoundest sense alone. Thus the cross stands for the inevitable dereliction and defeat of the best and the worst indiscriminately.
For those who believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead early on a Sunday morning, and for those also who believe that he provided food for the worms just as the rest of us will, the conclusion is inescapable that he came out somehow the winner. What emerged from his death was a kind of way, of truth, of life, without which the last two thousand years of human history would be even more tragic than they are.
A six-pointed star, a crescent moon, a lotus--the symbols of other religions suggest beauty and light. The symbol of Christianity is an instrument of death. It suggests, at the very least, hope.
Frederick Buechner, "Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC" Harper San Francisco, 1993, pg. 20.