Friday, March 24, 2006

The Crucifixion

The fifth sorrowful mystery, the centre of the Christian faith, the crucifixion. Or as Paul says (1 Corinthians 1:22-23),
Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles
What is special about the crucifixion of Christ? Crucifixion was common before the time of Jesus and continued after his death. Even today, some brave followers of Christ choose to expose themselves to danger of execution rather than deny the Lordship of Jesus.

Some point to Christ's sinlessness to make it special because we all ultimately deserved death anyway for our sins even if we are executed for a crime not meriting death (for example, converting to Christianity as Abdur Rahman has done). Some point out that Christ died willingly. Certainly that sets his crucifixion apart from most others. And countless martyrs have died for the Lord giving us the supreme example of what it means to follow the Lord. But what is it that sets Christ's crucifixion apart from the behavior of the martyrs which followed him?

Once again, Saint Paul to the rescue: Romans 5:7-8.
For a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

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