The deeper message of the crucifixion: Pain, deeply accepted, breaks the heart wide open.
– Jeff Foster
There are many interpretations of the crucifixion, both in a theological sense and a metaphorical sense. For instance, it’s the marriage of the vertical (divine) and horizontal (human), as if the two were ever two.
For me, crucifixion is immediate and visceral.
I am crucified here and now and always. I cannot escape what’s here now, even if I try. The attempt to escape only becomes part of what I cannot escape here and now.
Here are some stories from the Bible and the New Testament that have come up for me lately….
The story of Job
Job is purified of shoulds. His stories of what should be and what is, clash. He is humbled. His views are invited – in the strongest possible way – to be more aligned with reality.
Life happens, and it is not always aligned with our personal preferences. We can either throw a tantrum and blame the world, God, others, fate or ourselves. Or we can take a closer look at our fixed views, recognize what happens when we hold onto views not aligned with reality (stress, blame, resentment), and find what’s more true for us. We can (a) replace these stories with other stories more aligned with reality, and (b) softening our hold on these stories in general. We can find more trust in reality and truth. And we can find more comfort in not knowing, using stories as guides for ourselves and yet recognize that they are just stories. Reality is the boss. Through his experiences, Job matures from being blindly caught up in beliefs to recognizing stories more as stories.
Said another way, Job’s individual will (beliefs) is worn off, and he finds himself more receptive to God’s will (reality).