3.19.2008

Stations of the Cross IX >> it is finished

Jesus spent his ministry preaching a great reversal: The first shall be last, the meek shall inherit the earth, possessions won't fulfill the rich. Now the reversal is complete. Jesus' death mirrors his birth. As kings aren't born in stables, attended to by cows and goats, so liberators don't set people free by dying at the hand of the oppressor.

Is this failure? The logic of the world – of Herod and Pilate – says that the system wins, the status quo is preserved. But the kingdom of God says that our view is upside down. If in nature a seed must fall to the ground and die in order to sprout new life, then are killing, preserving power and preventing challenge the only ways to save our lives? It depends on how you look at it, according to this meditation on the cross by Derek Webb:

What looks like weakness can do anything
And what looks like foolishness is understanding
When what is powerful has not come to fight
It looks like you're going to war
But you lay down your life

What looks like torture is a time to rejoice
What sounds like thunder is a comforting voice
When what is beautiful looks broken and crushed
And I say I don't know you
But you say it's finished

But I give myself to what looks like love
And I sell myself for what feels like love
And I pay to get what is not love...
Because I see things upside down.


The question is not “How can this kind of vulnerability square with the life we know?” Rather, it is “What happens to the lives we know because this view is really right-side up?”

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