The Word of the Cross

At least once a year, on Good Friday, the cross is placed in front of believers in all of its reality and truth: Jesus of Nazareth, a man, a rabbi, a prophet, is nailed completely nude to a block of wood. Crucified, he appears anathematized, excommunicated, not worthy of heaven or earth. He is abandoned by his disciples and dies scorned by those who witness his humiliating execution. This man is Jesus the Just One, who dies as he does because of the unjust world in which he lived; this man is a faithful believer in God, even if he dies the death of a sinner abandoned by God; he is the Son of God to whom the Father will respond with the resurrection, making him pass from death to life. And yet the event of the cross, which took place in Jerusalem on April 7 of the year 30 of our era, can also be emptied of its meaning through its metaphors and visual symbols, and as Christians we should be vigilant so that we do not end up like the 'religious' people of every era who see the crucifixion as a scandal, or like the 'wise' of this world who judge it foolishness. The cross is the "wisdom of God," and St. Paul, in coining the expression "the word of the cross" (1 Corinthians 1:18), tells us that the event created by the cross is the Gospel, the good news.