Saturday, April 6, 2013
Jesus On The Cross
I recently read a thought-provoking blog on how Jesus might have dealt with the physical agony of crucifixion, by meditating on Psalm 22. Here's the link, if you're interested:
It's an interesting theory, and Scripturally sound, in that it ties in His experiences with the physiological aspects of death-by-torture, and the prophecies that His life - and death - fulfilled.
But I disagree with the premise, for one simple reason.
Jesus came to show us a path through death into life, and taking a shortcut that would have in any way mitigated His pain would have been an abandonment of His mission - and of us.
This is not to say that meditation can't be used to overcome pain. It can, and it can be very effective. But dealing with that sort of horrific experience through meditation isn't accessible to most of us. It would be nice if it were, but for the most part we're tied to a raft of pain, moving its agonizing way down the slow river of time.
I don't think that Jesus 'checked out', for even a minute - if anything, the opposite. I think he felt the pain more intensely, and felt the anguish and loneliness to an even more lacerating degree.
The aforementioned post ties in the possibility of Jesus' meditation on the cross with the hymn, "Old Rugged Cross", using it to illustrate the saving transcendence of that instrument of torture.
I don't buy it, and I loathe the hymn. The cross was a necessary fulfillment of prophecy, but the meaning of God's forgiveness of our sins is to be found in the empty tomb.
Never, ever, in bloodstained wood.