Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Crucifixion

The Place of the Skull - Golgotha

This morning at morning prayer with my friends, we read as we have done a number of times this Lent from The Little Black Book, which is based on the writings of that now deceased servant of God, Bishop Ken Untener, former Bishop of the Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan.  These books are available from Little Books of the Diocese of Saginaw, and are used by many parishes throughout the world in the Church seasons.

Something particularly caught my ear, and my heart, which I wanted to share.

Today's reading was about the crucifixion, and has this scripture verse as its focus:
22 They brought him to the place of Golgotha (which is translated Place of the Skull).
23 They gave him wine drugged with myrrh, but he did not take it.
24 Then they crucified him . . .
Imagine what that would be like today.  All that needed to be said by the gospel writer, in this case Mark, was "they crucified them."  Those three words were sufficient for the audience of the early scriptures, since they had all seen one probably, and knew what those three words really meant.  They could conjure up for themselves the humiliation, the pain and suffering as the crucified ultimately asphyxiated on the cross.

But, in 2010 this would be breaking news; helicopters in the air filming from above; news reporters on the ground getting on the street interviews with witnesses to the happening, and in studio interviews with experts on the medical aspects of a crucifixion; logistics experts who describe the technicalities of one.  CNN would be on it; CBC would be there, and it would be on our computers with live web coverage, followed by You Tube videos, and paralysis by analysis. 

We would have all kinds of head knowledge about what occurred, but would any of it sink to our hearts?

Would I get that He, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, accepted this awful death to save ME?  Would you get that He, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, accepted this awful death to save YOU?

Or, would the most important news story in the history of the world just be ignored?  Tiger Woods infidelities are news.  Whoever wins the Oscars is news.  Whoever wins the Super Bowl is news.

But is the Good News really news in our secular world?  And if it isn't what are you and me doing to make it news?

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