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The Cross Becomes Our Story

November 8, 2010

I’ve been working my way through Gerhard Forde‘s On Being a Theologian of the Cross, which is a commentary on Martin Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation, and it is proving to be very enlightening.

One of the points that Forde makes is that it is impossible to be an observer of the theology of the cross.  Being a theologian of the cross is not merely an intellectual exercise, but it is an objective reality whereby forgiveness, life, and salvation are given to us through the Word and Sacraments.  Jesus’s death on the cross is for me in the waters of Holy Baptism, in the read and preached Word, and in the Holy Sacrament of Christ’s true Body and Blood.

The cross insists on being its own story.  It does not allow us to stand by and watch.  It does not ask us to probe endlessly for a meaning behind or above everything that would finally awaken, enlighten, and attract the exiled, slumbering soul.  The cross draws us into itself so that we become participants in the story.  As Paul could put it in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  Just as Jesus was crucified so we also are crucified with him.  The cross makes us part of its story.  The cross becomes our story.  that is what it means to say, as Luther did, “the cross alone is our theology.”

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From → Theology

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