The Most Revolutionary Image Of All Time!
It is finished! (John 19:30)
Jesus threw His final pain-filled cry into all time at 3pm.
An indisposed and disinterested world may have heard, but it did not reply or lament.
Bravely Joseph of Arimathea sought and gained permission to claim the body of his abandoned Messiah. Now removed from both the world and suffering, this disfigured body gained a resting place.
The cross remained for all to see. Yet, Jesus lay as 'out-of-sight' in the cave as He was on the Cross to almost all mankind.
The Cross is the most revolutionary image of all time. It's emptiness shows Jesus' purpose, but its fullness reveals His suffering.
By the fourth century AD the crucifix was held high as the picture of salvation until the 1500s.
It was just five centuries ago, during The Reformation that Jesus was again lifted from the Cross, the crucifix became sanitised - the cross again empty. No picture for lament.
The empty crucifix, that wonderful symbol of resurrection has now become a metaphor of intense satisfaction, as Christians safely lounge on a sofa printed with - unmerited forgiveness for all is grace.
Today an empty cross remains a visually cleansed crucifix; the witness of suffering removed, the presence of pain absent.
Yet the imprint of Calvary must remain a crucifix. A nailed, listless body hanging in death revealed perfect love and Heaven's righteousness.
The Last Word:
An empty cross is comfortable but a crucifix is the model of Christian life!