Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, an Australian community, in a worldwide religious congregation.
Jesus loved with a human heart: with him we proclaim his love to the world.
We work to discover through advocacy, healing and reconciliation, God's presence in our world.
We are to be on earth the heart of God. God has no other heart but ours.
- Published: Thursday, 18 April 2019 23:00
THE HOLY WEEK TRIDUUM – SOME HEART SPIRITUALITY
WHY DID JESUS DIE ON THE CROSS?
Excerpts from the article by Tony Arthur MSC in the latest issue of Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, 2019/1. And with thanks to Patrick Sharpe MSC for sending the painting of the multicultural Last Supper.
"How does one explain why Jesus died such an ignominious death? How does such a disgraceful death fit with, on the one hand, the evident goodness and righteousness of Jesus the teacher and healer and, on the other hand, God’s judgement on the righteousness of Jesus by raising him up in glory?
The evangelists see the events of the Passion as the fulfilment of ancient texts and prophecies. They interpret these texts in the light of their lived experience of the impact of Christ’s death and resurrection.
It is suggested that the original setting of the Passion Narrative may have been liturgical, “perhaps in a service similar to our presentday Good Friday liturgy” (Donald Senior CP). Since the first Christians, following the Jewish tradition, also used readings from the Old Testament in their worship, there was probably an intentional liturgical linking of the Passion account with Old Testament themes (such as that of ‘redemption’ in Exodus). This early development of the narrative in the liturgical setting may account for the general agreement found in the four versions as well as for the interpretation of the meaning and significance of the story in the light of the prophecies.
Even more important, the Passion narrative’s use of the Old Testament is much more subtle and diffuse than any other part of the Gospels. The details of the story have been bonded so closely together with allusions to the Old Testament, particularly the Psalms and prophets, that it is often difficult to tell where the story leaves off and the allusion begins.
The simplest answer to our question, “why did Jesus die on the cross” is that he died on the cross in order to clearly reveal the real character of God to us that God is all-Love, all self-giving – and that we might make this the basis of our own life and faith and live the same spirituality of the heart."