The New Testament announces the arrival of The Light. “The Word became flesh and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father’s only Son” (John 1:14). The Kingdom of God was at hand and the blessings of the future Messianic Age were being tasted in advance by those traveling with the already present King. He was sent “to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed and announce that the time has come when the Lord will save his people” (Luke 4:18-19). Yet “none of the rulers of this world” understood God’s plan and so they “crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor 2:8).
However, this was only the beginning of the story. As I will attempt to show, the world was turned upside down that Good Friday on Calvary. The values of the old world were crucified and the values of the new must be transformed — or more precisely they must be “cruciform”: the foolish are the wise, the last are first, the weak are the strong. Paradoxically, blessed now are the poor, the meek, the persecuted and all who hunger and thirst for justice (Matt 5).
The cross was not a humiliating defeat after all, but the triumph of God and his Servant on behalf of the world. As Paul declares, “He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets” (Col 2:15 MSG). The most powerful act in the history of the cosmos came through a pair of nail-pierced hands on a blood-stained cross.
From that day forward nothing in the world would ever be the same. Or would it?