The Gracious “Electric Chair”

This past Wednesday of Holy Week a communion service was held in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus, which celebrated Good Friday and its meaning, since (Good) Friday would not be a class day on campus. The focus of this service was the cross of Christ.

As part of this service a rough-hewn cross was employed, created by former student Matt Rosebrock (see photo). And rough-hewn it truly is. When you got up close, the painfulness of everything associated with that cross sank in: the slivers, the unforgiving shape, and the horror of someone hanging on it until life was snuffed out. What a contrast that is to the crosses we routinely see, not only in our worship (like the abstract one in our chapel), but also (and perhaps especially) every day in imagery, jewelry, and artistic designs. I was reminded that the cross really was an object of revulsion, an execution instrument reserved by the Romans for deserters, betrayers, murderers, and those inciting to rebellion.

A modern day equivalent is the electric chair. It, too, is an object of revulsion, an object we are in no hurry to embrace. Indeed, how many of us would hasten to wear a miniature electric chair around our necks? Let the horror of the cross impress itself upon you. Our Lord went through the terror of this execution instrument, so that we might never have to be “executed” for our rebellious sins.

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