St James Ministry Team

A blog from the Ministry Team of St James Church, Colwall, Herefordshire, UK

2008-03-24

Good Friday sermon

The Good Friday sermon used some ideas taken from Steve Chalke's article in the book Consuming Passion, edited by Simon Barrow and Jonathan Bartley. This was one of those sermons, which when you are half way through it, you realise you only have a partial understanding - I suppose inevitable when you consider the topic. But the idea of the Cross as the essential element in salvation has always struck me as odd. That was one event in time. Was Abraham saved? And what about prehistoric man? Were they saved? (An interesting thought, that. It leads on to the redemption of the whole creation.) And the idea of the Cross as a sort of legal transaction also struck me as odd. Law is a human creation. God is not constrained by law, but defines what is good and right. (IMHO at any rate!)

But if you say that salvation was there from the beginning of time, what is the point of the incarnation? And what is the point of the Cross? Tentatively, I would say that it is a miracle and like all miracles, it is a message, a sign, a revelation. God does not intervene to change the course of history. I would say that God intervenes to show us how we can change the course of history. As such, the Cross is about the biggest sign there could be.

So I would go along with the idea that Christ bore our sins on the Cross, but not with the idea that he died that we might be forgiven. Forgiveness is there already, but the way to it is the way of the Cross.

2 Comments:

At 30 March 2008 at 21:26, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris suggests that the cross, as one event in time, is not essential to salvation. Perhaps, however, we can see the cross as a sort of sacrament, an outward and visible, and in this case unique, sign of an inner and spritiual and eternal truth. The truth is that sin is not negligible or inconsequential to God but infinitely hurtful, and that forgiveness is correspondingly not a matter of easy dismissal but something infinitely costly. Only God's love, given in the death of his Son on the cross, can meet that cost. And so, God's cross is essential: his very nature as love makes it, or something equivalent, inevetable.

Is this helpful as another possible approach to the mystery of the cross?

 
At 30 March 2008 at 21:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't want to be anonymous.
Ken

 

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