Blog # 316 Catholic Theology # 3
LOCATING THE ACTION-PRAYER OF JESUS
It enhances the power and helps clarify the importance, meaning, and relevance of both the prayer of Jesus and His death on the Cross to keep ourselves aware that both those prayers and His
death the following day occurred on the occasion of the official annual commemoration of the memorial of the liberation of God's chosen people from the slavery of Egypt which was interpreted and celebrated by them as a foreshadowing of the coming of the Messiah originally promised to their first parents. After many many epochs of time, the occasion and hour for that promise to be fulfilled had come in the life death and resurrection of Jesus. The climax and essential goal of that life was the Crucifixion.
THE ATTITUDE OF JESUS TOWARD CALVARY
Several people over the course of the years have expressed to me the problem they had with reconciling the Father's love for Jesus His beloved Son with the suffering and death of Jesus on Calvary. Could not the salvation of the world have been accomplished in some other way? Did not the Father have enough love to have forgiven the sins of us all merely by willing it without the suffering and death that it cost Jesus to have or sins forgiven?
The best source for formulating an answer to such questions, it seemed to me, would be Jesus. What was His attitude and response to the sufferings He would endure? How did Jesus identify His death on Calvary? The Gospel of John helped me find the answers.
After the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and the accolade the crowds along the way gave Him, certainly a glorious moment in His life and ministry, John Has Jesus speaking of a different glory that would be His. "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I solemnly assure you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it produces much fruit. The man who loves his life loses it, while the man who hates his life in this world preserves it to life eternal...My soul is troubled now, yet what should I say - Father, save me from this hour? But it was for this that I came to this hour." (Jn. 12: 23 - 27). And again: Now has judgment come upon this world, Now will the world's prince be driven out, and I - once I am lifted ujp from the earth - will draw all men o myself." This statement indicated the sort of death He had to endure." (Jn. 12: 31, 32). Jesus' greatest glory can be recognized in the victory of Jesus over the evil of sin in the power of His love, and the judgment against disobedience achieved in His obedient love. There would be no evil that could not be forgiven in that love. To be the instrument of that transformation and forgiveness was the glory of Jesus in His suffering and death. He did not wish it to be otherwise.