The crucifixion of Christ remains the event of salvation-history: it is the defining pivotal moment of creation, redemption and reconciliation. It is the nexus of the realm of eschatology, without which there is no forgiveness, no promise and no hope. The blood of Jesus on the Cross is what holds all things together; the visible presence of the invisible God, writhing in agony, not yet permitting us to glimpse the good within it, but somehow imparting knowledge of all that is good, for the death of Christ vindicates and liberates; it reveals divine justice.
Abel’s blood cries out from the ground, but the blood of Christ reverberates throughout the universe. The mark of Cain was a curse, but the stripes of Christ bring satisfaction. The sprinkled blood of Jesus speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel: it brings an end to human injustice by inflicting cosmic injustice. When the innocent and sinless becomes guilt and sin, we are no longer under condemnation, but reconciled to God and to one another.
Jesus did not appeal against divine justice when he prayed ‘Father, forgive them‘; he demonstrated a divine justice that was good. And not only was it good, but complete; and not only complete, but more satisfying than any that eye had seen or ear had heard.
The least we can do, in return, is to take up our cross.