THE CHRISTIAN teaching about who crucified Christ is not that the Romans or the Jews or whatever people happened to be there did, but that you and I did, and that all human societies without exception are involved in the crucifixion of Christ.

Northrop Frye's Notebooks and Lectures on the Bible and Other Religious Texts

THEY CRUCIFIED HIM with the criminals. Which is more amazing, to find Jesus in such bad company, or to find the criminals in such good company? ... Jesus died precisely for these two criminals who were crucified on his right and left and went to their death with him. He did not die for the sake of a good world, he died for the sake of an evil world.

Karl Barth,Deliverance to the Captives

GETHSEMANE invites us to consider … what it meant for Jesus to be, in a unique sense, God's Son. The very moment of greatest intimacy—the desperate prayer to "Abba, Father"—is also the moment where ... he is set on the course for the moment of God-forsakenness on the cross.

Tom Wright, Mark for Everyone

SINCE JESUS had no sin either in his nature or in his conduct, he need never have died either physically or spiritually. ... Then why did he do it? What was the rationale of his death? There is only one possible, logical, biblical answer. It is that he died for our sins, not his own. The death he died was our death, the penalty which our sins had richly deserved.

John Stott, Our Guilty Silence

REGARDLESS of all the gold or silver with which it is covered, the Cross remains what the apostle Paul said … "a scandal for the Jews, and folly for the Gentiles" (1 Cor. 1:23). In our given situation the "Jews" represent those who seek only help from religion, while the "Gentiles" are those who seek clever and easy explanations. And in this case the Cross is truly a scandal and folly.

Alexander Schmemann, O Death, Where Is Thy Sting?

MY LORD, my Love, is crucified:
Is crucified for me and you.
To bring us rebels near o God;
Believe, believe the record true,
Ye all are bought with Jesus' blood;
Pardon for all flows from his side:
My Lord, my Love, is crucified.

Charles Wesley, from O Love Divine, What Hast Thou Done

THE TRAGEDY of the second millennium was that the Cross, starting with the Crusades, became an emblem of the sword… . The challenge of this third millennium is to let it be what it was and what it still is in its origin—an emblem of unconditional love.

Ray Simpson, A Holy Island Prayer Book

on the eternal Calvary,
And two pierced hands are stretch-
ing east and west o'er land and sea.
On my knees I fall and worship that
great Cross that shines above,
For the very God of Heaven is not
Power, but Power of love.

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G. A. Studdert Kennedy, from High and Lifted Up

Related Elsewhere:

Past Reflections columns include:

Lenten Inventory (Feb. 25, 2004)
Following the Star (Dec. 23, 2003)
Advent (Dec. 10, 2003)
Wisdom for Ministry (Nov. 10, 2003)
Discerning God's Will (Oct. 6, 2003)
Work and Vocation (Sept. 17, 2003)
Bumper Sticker Theology (July 30, 2003)
Songs from the Soul (July 8, 2003)
Walk Humbly (May 28, 2003)
Mercy (May 8, 2004)
Cross and Resurrection (April 16, 2003)
Justice (March 18, 2003)
Sex, Love, and Marriage (Feb. 14, 2003)
Mountaintop Spirituality (January 23, 2003)
Word Made Flesh (December 20, 2002)
Desert Springs (November 25, 2002)
Matters of the Mind (October 16, 2002)
Bumper stickers (August 6, 2002)
Preaching (July 18, 2002)
Prayer (June 24, 2002)
Suffering and Grief (May 20, 2002)
Writers and Words (April 18, 2002)
Crucifixion (March 28, 2002)
God's Mission (February 13, 2002)
On Enemies (January 8, 2002)
Life After Christmas (December 26, 2001)
Love & Marriage (November 13, 2001)
The Word of God (October 22, 2001)
Leadership (October 11, 2001)
Suffering (September 13, 2001)
Change (August 14, 2001)
Living Tradition (July 18, 2001)

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