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The Burden On The Privileged Reader Trying To Understand The Crucifixion Of Jesus (via Fleming Rutledge)

The fact that Jesus died by crucifixion is an integral aspect of God’s redemptive work. Appreciating the fullness of what Jesus endured for our sake is difficult for those whose social position shields them from personal experience or exposure to the fullness of the injustice of it all.
Difficult, but not impossible. But we do have to accept that we have a blind spot and effort to empathise is required.
From Fleming Rutledge.

The all-important connection between the method used to execute Jesus and the meaning of his death cannot be grasped unless we plumb the depths of what is meant by injustice. There is much irony here, for injustice is a threatening subject for the ruling classes who have the time and inclination for reading books like this one. Those who suffer most from injustice are the poorly educated, the impoverished, the invisible. Justice is involved with law and judges; the people most likely to suffer injustice cannot afford good lawyers, do not even know any lawyers, whereas lawyers and judges are the ones who have the money to buy books. In other words, those most likely to be affected by the issues raised in this chapter are least likely to be reading about them. This puts an extra burden on the privileged reader, but such challenges are not unrelated to Jesus’ teaching that the one who does not take up his cross and follow him is not worthy of him (Matt. 10:38). Trying to understand to understand someone else’s predicament lies at the very heart of what it means to be a Christian.

Fleming Rutledge, The Crucifixion – Understanding The Death Of Jesus Christ Eerdmans, Grand Rapids MI, 2015, pp 106-107.


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The Crucifixion Is God Setting A Ruined Creation Aright (via Fleming Rutledge)

The Crucifixion is not simply about forgiveness, but about a creation that is profoundly ruined being remade by the power and action of God.

“The Messiah came, not to a purified and enlightened world spiritually prepared for his arrival, but rather to a humanity no nearer to its original goodness than on the day Cain murdered his borther Abel. Indeed, the barbarity of the crucifixion reveals precisely that diagnosis. From beginning to end, the Holy Scriptures testify that the predicament of fallen humanity is so serious, so grave, so irremediable from within, that nothing short of divine intervention can rectify it.”
Fleming Rutledge, The Crucifixion – Understanding The Death Of Jesus Christ Eerdmans, Grand Rapids MI, 2015, pg 127.


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The Singularity Of The Crucifixion Of Christ (via Fleming Rutledge)

The cross is no benign decoration for wall or jewelry.
It is a sign of shame and scandal.
And it might have passed from human notice except for particular crucifixion over two thousand years ago.
From Fleming Rutledge:
We can begin with the oddity of the universally recognized signifier, “the crucifixion.” It will help us to understand the uniqueness of Jesus’ death if we can grasp the idiosyncrasy of this manner of speaking. There have been many famous deaths in world history; we might think of John F. Kennedy, or Marie Antionette, or Cleopatra, but we do not refer to :the assassination,” “the guillotining,” or “the poisoning.” Such references would be incomprehensible. The use of the term “the crucifixion,” for the execution of Jesus show that it still retains a privileged status. When we speak of “the crucifixion,” even in the secular age, many people will know what is meant. There is something in the strange death of the man identified as Son of God that continues to command special attention. This death, this execution, above and beyond all others continues to have universal reverberations. Of no other death in human history can this be said. The cross of Jesus stands alone in this regard; it is sui generis. There were many thousands of crucifixions in Roman times, but only the crucifixion of Jesus is remembered as having any significance at all, let alone world-transforming significance.

Fleming Rutledge, The Crucifixion – Understanding The Death Of Jesus Christ Eerdmans, Grand Rapids MI, 2015, pg 3.