Is the cross a symbol about death or life? defeat or triumph? humiliation or glory? Or all those things? As I searched for answers, I became drawn to how Christians depicted crosses a thousand years ago and more, and that search became this fifteen minute video on the ancient symbols of Christianity.
Just as the cost of Isaiah’s call would be high, so the Lord Jesus did not make His call to discipleship any easier. On the contrary, Jesus stressed the cost of following Him. Following Jesus means full obedience and the giving up of all other plans that a person might prefer to make for themself.
BEHOLD! He comes with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him, and they will beat their breasts with grief over Him, all the peoples of the earth. Yes! Amen!
And how were the disciples going to make any impact on the world plunged into deepest darkness, when even after following Jesus night and day for three years, struggled to really understand His teaching?
Swoon theories are like urban myths. When examined, the actual facts disprove the myth, but the myth keeps getting repeated. So, the writers of the gospels—and especially John—were careful to document the reality of Jesus’ physical death and his physical resurrection.
Why did Jesus cry out the first line of Psalm 22? I found two very different ways of understanding this moment, and it all rests on the nature of the Trinity.
John and James had asked for the place of honor, on Jesus' right and left, when he came into his glory. Now, as John stood at the foot of the cross, he understood why they had been denied.
John briefly references the story of Simon from Cyrene (Found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke), and omits the story of the daughters of Jerusalem (found only in Luke). For John, the significance of Jesus’s journey from the Gabbatha to Golgatha is found in his continuing intentional drinking of the Father’s cup. He had a mission, and he would complete it, as any brave and mighty king would do.
One of the Gospel of John's continuing themes is the weaving of the first three chapters of Genesis with the telling of Christ's story. Because of this, I have woven more overtly those chapters with these crucifixions scenes.
Justice was the bedrock upon which Pax Romana was built. Pilate felt had done all he could to free this righteous and just man, standing on Gabbatha waiting with tranquil dignity for his judgement. Pilate could do no more.