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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Why Do Catholics "Keep Jesus On The Cross"?

 Catholics are often accused of keeping “Jesus on the cross” which to some Bible believers seems to deny that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven and lives right not at the right side of the Father. So why do we have pictures of Jesus on the cross.

They say that a picture is word a thousand words. The crucifix is a picture worth and infinite number of words, but today we will stick with some inspired words from scripture, because they are from God.

The cross is picture of radical love. We have all heard Jesus say:

NAB John 15:13 1 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.

But here are the words that we forget from St. Paul

NAB Romans 5:7 Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die.  8 But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. 9 How much more then, since we are now justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath. 10 Indeed, if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by his life.

You can imagine being in a back alley and it looks as though a mugger is not only going to take your money, but your life as well. If there is someone else there you might try to courageously defeat the mugger so your friend’s life will be spared.

Now imagine as though you are the mugger, and you are trying to mug Jesus, when suddenly a murderous gang heads down the same alley and Jesus throws himself into the crowd so that you can escape. THIS is what St. Paul is talking about.

NAB Romans 5:8 But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

Again the cross is a picture of a radical kind of love.

The cross is a picture of Christ in His Glory.

RSV John 12:23 23 And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified.

Now if I were to ask you outside the context of this radio broadcast – when was Jesus glorified? Most people would naturally respond – at his resurrection, or ascension, and they would be correct to a certain extent because yes at the resurrection Jesus has a glorified body and is back from the dead and when Jesus is ascending into heaven it is to be seated at the right hand of God – amen.

But listen to what else Jesus describes as his Glory.

RSV John 12:24 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
26 If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him.

Jesus says:
RSV John 12:23 23 And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified.
And then talks about wheat dying, and losing you life, and following Jesus. So this glory doesn’t sound very glorious.


RSV John 12:27 "Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? `Father, save me from this hour'? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour.

Father save me from this hour – is Jesus asking the Father to save him from the resurrection and ascension into heaven? No, he is saying Father save me from the this death, and cross. Yet the cross is described as his glory. Now the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

This is also a picture that has medicinal properties.
RSV John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up,
-        Moses lifted the serpent up in the wilderness so that all who looked upon it would be healed on their snake bites. Jesus on the cross heals all those who look upon Him on the cross who have been bitten by the devil.
RSV John 8:28 So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority but speak thus as the Father taught me.
RSV John 12:32 and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."

The crucifix was a picture of God’s wisdom and power.

RSV 1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God…. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
RSV 1 Corinthians 2:1 When I came to you, brethren, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Finally the crucifix is a picture of our marriage to Christ. Just as God put Adam in a deep sleep and from his side formed his wife Eve, So from the water and blood of Christ’s side did we come forth (in our baptism and Eucharist) when he slept the sleep of death on the cross.

The catechism says this in:

1067 … For it was from the side of Christ as he slept the sleep of death upon the cross that there came forth 'the wondrous sacrament of the whole Church."'

For this reason, the Church celebrates in the liturgy above all the Paschal mystery by which Christ accomplished the work of our salvation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, such a powerful brain-poisoning technique they developed. Glory by death, losing life if you love it, keeping it if you hate it; putting a snake on a crucifix and using it to enslave the minds of now billions. If you die it's good, if you live it's bad. Throwing stumbling blocks in front of Jews AND gentiles alike, instead of helping them. After looking up these verses John 12:35 is classic evasion. Everyone bathed in someone's blood (nothing like some good blood to justify giving ones good life-blood). The people who follow are directed to die and consume the (metaphorical) flesh and blood of their master like vampires, are promised gifts in the future they never see in exchange for their slavery now. They can let their "little light shine" but if they let their big light shine it's heresy.

Yep, they did a good job on this one. It's a classic. Surely some of the greatest minds of that era. The most powerful black magic uses the greatest love to the ends of the most powerful control, and this radical love sure does the trick - if it were just pure evil it would be easy to avoid, but not here - they get you by the sternum and throw you into the pit in a true bind. Love by death, celebration of poverty, indoctrinated fear of sure death if you oppose the rulers - what a wonderful way to set yourself up for a nice ruler-ship of wealth and abundance, and to begin a process of setting up a true class divide between those who know the trick and those who are enslaved by it. It's amazing that they let people read and have the printing press back in the day. They're either very far ahead by now or getting sloppy.

Saul is probably celebrated at many an undisclosed fete for being the greatest infiltrator in all of history.

No wonder why it takes years of brainwashing and subsequent insemination at seminary to pretend to make sense of all of this.

It would sure be nice if people could have a personal relationship with god and not need to stare at a snake on a stick for healing, and just be healed by god. Not as long as this book is ruling the minds of people in the world, that's for sure.

I'm sorry this book is taking your good heart and turning it from god to the idolatrous image of a snake hanging on a stick.

Good luck, dude.

Carpe noctem!