• Michael Haldas

Cross


“The astronomer Allan Sandage spent a lifetime peering through telescopes into space, studying supernovae. He never ceased to wonder, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” Finally, as he confessed, “My science . . . drove me to the conclusion that the world is much more complicated than can be explained by science. It is only through the supernatural that I can understand the mystery of existence.” Two millennia earlier the Apostle Paul, a man rigorously trained from his early years in the best Rabbinic schools, “was caught up to the third heaven . . . into Paradise and heard inexpressible words” (2 Cor 12:2-4). This experience, along with his vision on the road to Damascus, overpowered his logical mind and confirmed the crucified Messiah and His Resurrection. Often, because of our knowledge, pride, and self-assurance, we refuse to bow before the wisdom of God until our own resources and confidence have been exhausted. Only when a quiet descends on our soul do we cease to blame God…” (Dynamis 9/14/2018)

“It is Christ Crucified that reveals all things to be what they truly are. It unmasks every pretense of uprightness and self-justification. It welcomes the thief while the hypocrisy of others drives them away. This is the judgment that we avoid. Think back to the last argument you had. Perhaps you were in the right. Take that argument and stand before Christ on the Cross. For myself, I cannot imagine any such argument that I’ve had that isn’t revealed in its absurdity and emptiness in that context. Presently, we live in a world of arguments. Enslaved to our own shame and anger, we are slowly pulling each other down towards an abyss of meaninglessness.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Even when Jesus prayed for Him to be spared the experience of the crucifixion He ended the prayer with the words, “not as I will, but as you will.” He trusted, remained faithful, remained obedient, He prayed, He forgave, He did not lash out at others, He did not blame, He did not become bitter, He did not reenact what was done to Him on others (we can never be healed of our hurt so long as we are reenacting it on others), nor did He respond in any way that caused hurt or pain to others. In doing so He emerged from the cross having destroyed our spiritual deaths, repaired the relationship between God and man, and restored fallen humanity.” (Fr. Joshua Makoul)

“At the heart of the Christian story, however, is the Triune God’s rejection of both exclusion and tolerance. The Creator was not content to exclude those who had rejected him, but neither was he prepared to tolerate our hatefulness and sin. So what did he do? He became one of us, one of the “other,” identifying with us to embrace us in solidarity, empathy, and selfless agape love—all the way to the cross.” (David Kinnaman)

“Christ transformed suffering on the cross and made it a means for our personal growth…..” (Sacramental Living)

“…we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 1:23-25)

“Why is the message of the cross . . . foolishness to unbelievers? It is a mark of them that perish not to recognize the things which lead to salvation.” (St. John Chrysostom)

“When one tries to increase his knowledge by doing mental gymnastics over books without waiting upon God and looking to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, his soul is plainly in full swing. This will deplete his spiritual life. Because the fall of man was occasioned by seeking knowledge, God uses the foolishness of the cross to "destroy the wisdom of the wise.” (Watchman Nee)

“We can spend a lifetime accumulating human wisdom and yet never learn how to have a personal relationship with God. We must come to the crucified and risen Christ to receive eternal life and the joy of a personal relationship with our Savior.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 1:19)

“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Cor 1: 18) When does “the word of the cross” become “folly” to me? When I slip into resentment, self-pity, and egocentrism...The “word of the cross,” on the other hand, is one of self-giving and hence of growth, because self-giving brings me out of myself. It brings me out, into the vulnerability and sunlight of the “power of God,” where I grow through the ups and downs of humble openness." (Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin)

“The Cross is not an ornament or a piece of jewelry but it is “the Way.” It is the Way of Christ which is quintessentially a life of love and forgiveness…The path to God is a daily cross.” (Archimandrite Sergius, St. Isaac the Syrian)

“God’s gift of faith is our sole source of righteousness. We should not infer from this that God does not take our sins seriously, but rather that He reckons our sins by Christ on the Cross. He was “made . . . to be sin for us” (2 Cor 5:21), so that we might repent and live in gratitude.” (Dynamis 6/9/2015)

"My faith is not about arguments that begin and end in my mind, but about my daily partaking of the grace-filled journey of the Cross, lovingly guided by the light of the Resurrection." (Dr. Sr. Vassa Larin)

"Christ destroys what St. Nicholas Cabasilas calls “the triple barrier” of separation from God: by His Incarnation, He destroys the separation in nature; by His death on the Cross, He destroys the separation by sin; and by His Resurrection, He destroys the separation of death." (Archimandrite Sergius)

“All events that happened before the Cross, for the Christian, led up to the Cross. Subsequently, all events after the Cross are defined by the Cross and look back to the Cross for meaning. So the Cross is the center of time; it magnifies and gives perspective to time.” (Albert S. Rossi)

“Wholeness (holiness) is ours through this relationship with Christ, whose redemptive act upon the Cross, together with His conquering of death by death, delivers us from the depths of estrangement.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“...everyone who follows Him unfailingly goes with a cross. What is this cross? It consists of all sorts of inconveniences, burdens, and sorrows—weighing heavily both internally and externally—along the path of the conscientious fulfillment of the commandments of the Lord, in a life according to the spirit of His instructions and requirements. Such a cross is so much a part of a Christian that wherever there is a Christian, there is this cross, and where there is no such cross, there is no Christian." (St. Theophan the Recluse)

“Those who know God have no need to protect their rights. Because they believe in Him, they learn to bear the Cross daily and to rely upon Him for the outcome." (Watchman Née)

"There is no Christianity without repentance and cross-bearing." (Metroplitan Kallistos Ware)

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