Monday, November 19, 2007

The Blood of His Cross

November 25, 2007 Year C

The Solemnity of Christ the King

Reflections on the Readings

By Dennis Hankins

2 Samuel 5:1-3; Psalm 122:1-5

Colossians 1:12-20; Luke 23:35:43

Theme:  The Blood of His Cross

Who am I that a King would bleed and die for?

Like King David before, King Jesus came to Jerusalem to make a covenant with us.  But unlike David, He would make His covenant with us through the blood of His Cross.  

Not all were aware of Jesus' mission.  Not all were convinced of His intentions.  Not all were able to grasp the depth of His love.

The rulers scoffed Him saying, "He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!"

The soldiers also mocked Him saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!"

And lastly one of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ?  Save yourself and us!"  

Today we hope to be like the other criminal who said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom."

The hallmark of this Solemnity is marked by betrayal and death and what appears to be defeat.  Other Kings conquered and ruled over their newly acquired citizenry with royalty and majesty.  But this King, our King, rules not with a sword.  From His majestic position hanging between heaven and earth, his heart poured forth both blood and water.  He procured for us a place in his Kingdom by the blood of His Cross. 

It is the blood of His Cross that delivers us from the dominion of darkness and transfers us into the kingdom of Jesus.  In Him we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins.  In the words of the Song written by Andrea Crouch, "The blood that Jesus shed will never lose its power!"  In the reception of the Eucharist we rejoice again that our King has kept back nothing of himself so that we may be the sons and daughters of God.  It is in the Sacrifice of the Mass we again taste and see the power of our salvation.  

Some reject the crucifix.  Such rejection is understandable.  It is not a pretty site.  The crucifixion was a bloody mess.  From the moment they laid stripes upon our Lord, he shed forth the blood of His cross.  But the crucifix is not a denial of the resurrection.  But like the resurrection, it is indispensable to our salvation.  You might say they each occupy both sides of one effort.  That effort being Christ's sacrificial offering to reconcile all things to himself. The same power by which He opened up a new and living way is the power that raised him from the dead.  But it all was made possible by the blood of His Cross.

Many in our world remain captives of the dominion of darkness.  Some call good, evil and evil, good.  Such defiance of truth is the controlling principle of the culture of death.  The only remedy for anyone held in sins dread sway is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  When Jesus' cousin preached those words, it was the end being seen from the beginning.  Only the blood of heaven's spotless Lamb can snatch us from the snare of the devil.

It is St. Peter who reminds us again, "You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot." (I Peter 1:19)  Into the vast and dark mystery of sin, came Jesus for us men and for our salvation, to ransom us by the sacrifice of His indestructible life.  

Who am I that a King would bleed and die for?

Let us pray:  Dear Jesus, Again remind me that your kingdom is not of this world.  All authority is given to you, in heaven and in earth.  Where sin abounded, grace has abounded much more.  I ask that your love, sacrificially bestowed in behalf of the whole world, teach me the way of forgiving love.  Amen.   



No comments: