On the Ordinary Nature of the Crucifixion

The Redemption of mankind on the Cross, or more precisely, the bloody Sacrifice of Jesus for our sins, is not extraordinary if we see it within the fullness of Merciful Love. In coming to know that the ultimate sacrifice of Christ is fully within the Divine Will of the Father, we can appreciate the beauty that God has revealed to us. In this context- an understanding that God, the Holy Trinity, as pure and complete relational love- Of course Christ would die for us; for he is the complete fulfillment of Love, actualized and personified. For Christ to be poured out completely for us is completely within the true reality of God.

What else could happen except Christ on the Cross, how else could He have redeemed us other than a complete consummation of sacrifice for His beloved? What human beings, in our skewed capacity to understand ourselves, each other, and our relationship to the universe and ultimately God, see as a twist of nature and “extraordinary” is merely God revealing the fullness of Divinity and Love to humankind. In that regard there is nothing “extraordinary” about that event at all. That which seems as unintelligible to our clouded understanding is merely a statement of fact. Jesus’s sacrifice was perfectly aligned to the reality of the university, in this way it was perfectly ordered.

Jesus teaches us that to be poured out completely for the other is the most human action that we can take. And so, a complete renunciation of the self focused on the betterment of the other, is the only path to true sanctity and ultimately true divinization and incorporation into the Trinity.

Jesus teaches us that to be poured out completely for the other is the most human action that we can take. -Joanna Kauer

The extraordinary thing, meaning a thing that is out of the norms of a society or context, about the cross is that we human beings are so misaligned that we see it as a foreign act and even worse, as repulsive. How many times do we laud the heroic actions of saints and yet deem these actions too difficult or arduous for secular society. Our redeemed human nature and intellect, however, allows us to see that it is only this extent of love that is, paradoxically, natural and worthy of our desires.

Unfortunately, Modern Christian thought tends towards a rationalization and “sanitation” of the suffering of Christ, or worse, a disregard altogether of the mysteries presented to us through the Cross. We can see this in Churches that are free of Crucifixes or Crosses or paintings that show an anemic figure forced to suffer due to our terrible nature. This flippant attitude which takes sacrifice of the lamb for granted through a misguided belief that Jesus “did it all for us” and therefore we are within our rights to “sit back and enjoy the fruits of His Sacrifice” is anti-human and anti-Christian. This heretical belief fractures our relationship with Christ and fails to hear the call of love that is now on full display for the world to see. LOVE and LOVE FULLY- Love to the point where you have given everything for all and hold nothing back for yourself. This is the fullness of Love and it is a call for all of mankind.

Our response to the Cross should no be a detached thankfulness or a “spiritualized” understanding but rather a passionate actualization of the Will of the Father. Just as the Father revealed to us, we are called to take the extraordinary idea of complete abandonment to love and to make this same love ordinary to our world. We are called to pour ourselves out likewise. To do any less is to misunderstand our place and our true being.

The Cross, interestingly enough, may be the most ordinary event in human history. Everything that occurred after the fall of Adam and Eve was marred by concupiscence and sin; therefore being contrary to Grace and unnatural. The extent to which the God man suffered on our behave is the true representation of his care for us. Being perfectly loved is ordinary, being perfectly cared for is ordinary for this is the truth of God’s love for us. God’s nature as our Father, sees us as perfectly whole and loved. If this is reality, going to any extent to bring your beloved back to you is a natural and reasonable response. And so it is that within the branches of that tree on Calvary Jesus made the reality of the divine ordinary and this in turn allows us through Him to become extraordinary.

Live Jesus


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