Monday, March 14, 2022

Atonement and the Scandal of the Cross

When I watched the movie "The Passion of the Christ" there were many parts of it that I found it difficult to look at. I concluded that the actual event of the crucifixion of Christ was worse than the movie. (If you are interested, see Mel Gibson's Passion and Philosophy: The Cross, the Questions, the Controversy, containing essays by Dallas Willard, Paul Moser, et. al.)

Fleming Rutledge writes:

"It takes some effort of the imagination to understand the singular degree of public disgust caused by crucifixion as a method of execution. Yet we must make this effort in order to understand more fully the meaning of the Greek term skandalon (“stumbling block,” “pitfall”) that the apostle Paul uses, as in the phrase “the skandalon of the cross” (Gal. 5:11). Most of us are conditioned to think of Jesus’ death as the scandal, when in fact it is not the death in itself but the mode of death that creates the offense." (Rutledge, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ, p. 72)