This week, Holy Week, we are focusing, obviously, on the cross. Christians all around the world are contemplating Christ's death. The fact that He did die voluntarily, and rose again three days later, is a given, a non-negotiable. The question of why He died, however, is more complex. About a year ago, my mom called me to say, Molly, you have to hear this! She was referring to a podcast by the prolific Father Thomas Hopko in which he laid out clearly the Orthodox position on why Jesus's crucifixion was necessary. Sure, I said, and then put it off (I noticed the podcast was an hour long). It took another week for me to download it and put it on my iPod. A few days after that, I finally devoted a portion of an evening to folding a large amount of laundry while listening to that said podcast in it's entirety.
Now, I do not say this lightly, but that podcast on the crucifixion…well, it altered my life. I had never realized before how truly foundational to one's faith and worldview is their understanding of the cross. By the end of it, I had tears streaming down my cheeks and my soul was shouting, Yes! This is right! Praise God!! It changed the way I viewed salvation, my neighbor, God, Himself. I urge you to join me this week, as we prepare for Pascha, in listening (I'll be listening again) to this most profound Orthodox Christian commentary on Jesus's sacrificial death on the cross, in being nothing less than blown away by His love.
Understanding the Cross of Christ