I have a friend, a Jehovah's Witness, who is confused about many aspects of orthodox Christian belief, but who has an especially difficult time with the fact that the cross is so significant a Christian symbol. Why, she asks, would you give such prominence to the instrument of torture that put Jesus to death?
I've never been completely satisfied with the answers I've given her. Today, I read this as part of my morning prayer and thought of her:
The cross, instrument of torture and death, raised aloft as a sign of glory, continues to confound the wisdom of this world. God's work of salvation stands human expectations on their head: humility is exaltation, wounds are healing, death is life.
This is the economy of God. In the middle of death, decay, winter, discouragement, politics, disgrace, scandal and sin, all the promises of God find their Yes in Christ (cf. 2Cor 1). In the midst of death, we are in life. We do not hope in princes, armies, wealth, talents, good fortune, intelligence, savvy or interpersonal skills. We place our hope in the Lord our God, who not only can bring glorious life out of nothing, but has done it and continues to do it for our sake and His glory.
How can you help loving Someone like that?