Deans' Note March 20, 2022

As we approach the third week of Lent, we also get closer to Jesus' journey to Jerusalem and to the cross. As Christians, the cross of Jesus is central to our faith. In the Apostle's Creed we affirm that Jesus: "suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried." Then we go on to say: "he descended to the dead (or into hell), and on the third day he rose again." The Nicene Creed doesn't add much more:"For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures."

Both creeds simply make a statement -- that Jesus was crucified for our sake. In and of itself, this is simply a statement of historical fact, not a matter of faith per se. Yet the question remains -- Why the cross, and why is his death "for our sake"? Those are profoundly theological questions and the answer directly impacts how we come to Jesus as our crucified and risen Lord.

Starting this Sunday we will take four weeks during our Christian Education hour to explore this very question. We encourage you to participate in these conversations since this question is at the core of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.

There is no single answer to the question, why the cross? There are differing approaches in the bible and certainly others throughout the history of the Christian tradition. These approaches emerge from the experiences of Christians in their varied cultures and times. They emerge from reflection on the Scriptures. Yet we each must answer one question for ourselves, Not simply why the cross in a general sense, but why the cross for me? What does the death of Jesus have to do with my life? What does it mean for me to believe in his resurrection?

Reflect on these questions this Lent. Experience the weekly meditations on the stations of the cross on Fridays. Join our conversation on the next four Sundays. Reflect with us on the fifth Sunday in Lent as we tell the passion story. Be with us through Holy Week and Easter as we proclaim the victory of Jesus through his cross and resurrection. "We adore you O Christ and we bless you, because by your Holy cross you have redeemed the world."