Thur 14th Sept 2017

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Num. 21:4-9
Ps. 78(77):1-2,34-35,36-37,38
Phil. 2:6-11
Jn. 3:13-17    (Ps Wk III)

The key idea in the gospel passage for the day is the conviction that it is God’s love that is the dynamic principle for the salvation of the world. It means that our God is a God motivated by a love so great that He has gifted the world with His own Son, who comes not to condemn but to save the world. As such, God's love for the world is not motivated towards judgement or condemnation but towards salvation. Therefore, just as Moses lifted up the image of the serpent on a pole so that those bitten by the serpents might see it and be cured, the faith of a Christian is directed towards the one who was “lifted up” on the cross. Jesus is enthroned like a king on the cross where he is the source of salvation for all who believe in him.

Ironically, it is the image of the serpent “lifted up” by Moses that became the source of healing for the people who were bitten by the serpents. In the same way, Paul writes that it is the one who did not cling selfishly to his exalted position of being “in the form of God”, who becomes the source of salvation of humanity. For Paul, the cross was not a symbol of shame but of glory. What was seen as shameful has become the means of salvation. Today, in a world where self-glory and self-exaltation is constantly emphasised, the cross represents for us a stark reminder that the way of God is that of selflessness and humility.

Lord, thank You for the cross.