Forgiving the unforgivable is hard. So was the cross: hard words, hard wood, hard nails.
Whoever heard of a suffering God? The idea is plain daft. God is up in heaven, and there he will stay. But wouldn't it be wonderful if it were true? If God came to visit us, like a great king visiting his subjects? Or, even better, if he came among us as one of us, sharing our way of life, with all its tragedy, sorrows and grief?
If we consider how utterly undeserved [the crucifixion] was, we call it grace; if we consider the cost, we call it atonement; if we consider the effect, we call it new life, redemption, sanctification.
The crucified is God's chosen: it is with the victim, the condemned, that God identifies, and it is in the company of the victim, so to speak, that God is to be found, and nowhere else . …Jesus is judge because he is victim; and that very fact means that he is a judge who will not condemn.
Even from the cross, when our Lord in his agony found perfection of his saintly humanity—even then he did not own himself a victim of injustice: They know not what they do.
We have become insensitive to the infinite tension which is implied in the words of the Apostles' Creed: "suffered … was crucified, dead, and buried … rose again from the dead." We already know, when we hear the first words, what the ending will be: "rose again," and for many people it is no more than the inevitable "happy ending." … But the answer of Easter had become possible precisely because the Christ has been buried. The new life would not really be new life if it did not come from the complete end of the old life.
The many strands of human experience run through the crossroads of the cross.
Gracious God, the comfort of all who sorrow, the strength of all ...1