From the editor: September 13, 2013
When God Last Spoke
Tomorrow, September 14, is the Feast of the Holy Cross, which marks, as I noted previously, the 40th day of the Transfiguration feast on August 6.
The Cross is connected to Moses and Elijah, who appeared at the Transfiguration, by their witness as representatives of the Law and the Prophets to Jesus' Passion. Luke says they were discussing what Jesus was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. And when Jesus accomplished this new "exodus" (the word Luke uses), he said, "It is finished," and in Luke's Gospel, "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit."
This handing over of his spirit was not merely a sign of the end of his life. It is a model for all Christians signaling a new way of life. On the cross Jesus confronted the darkness of sin and death and the separation of man, Old Adam, from God, and bridged the abyss with his own life through obedience, handing himself over in faith to Father. "Thy will be done, not mine," he prayed, trusting in the Father for all things, even in death.
The Triumph of the Cross, then, is nothing less than this Second Adam fulfilling the rejected calling of Old Adam to place all his life and hope in the Father.
If lifted up on the Cross, Jesus said, he would draw all men to himself. From the Prayer of the Sixth Hour (Orthodox):
You nailed to the Cross the sin which rebellious Adam committed in paradise. Tear asunder also the bond of our iniquities and save us! You have wrought salvation in the midst of the earth, O Christ God. You stretched out your all-pure hands upon the Cross; You gathered together all the nations that cry aloud to You: Glory to You, O Lord!
...His precious Cross destroyed the writing of our sins, thereby triumphing over the source and power of darkness.
God spoke to Abraham, then he spoke through Moses and the prophets. His final word to the world is his Son—and not only the words of Jesus, but Jesus himself—his Person, his life, death, and resurrection. Today, God speaks through the apostolic proclamation of that Gospel. There is nothing more to say. The Holy Spirit came, not to give a new message, but to bring into remembrance the Son and point to him. For this reason Paul was determined to know nothing among the Corinthians "except Jesus Christ and him crucified." There is no other gospel. The Cross is its heart. In the Cross, we see the triumphant love of God, who so loved the world!
So what are we to do? Why, we've been commissioned to delivering the invitations to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, authorized by the Son, who said to the good thief, "Today, you shall be with me in paradise!"
—James M. Kushiner