Why the Cross?

Sundays, March 20 through April 10 ( Four weeks) at 11:30 am, in-person and on Zoom

As we enter deeper into the Season of Lenten and our focus turns toward Jesus' journey to Jerusalem, to suffering, and death, the cross becomes a central focus of the church's liturgy. But why the cross? What is the meaning of Jesus death for us? What are the ways the Christian tradition understood Jesus' death as atonement for sin and means for our reconciliation? How can we come to understand the grace God gives to millions and to me and you through the cross?

The sessions are recorded and can be accessed later.

Week 1

"Why the Cross: Different Answers from the Tradition"

March 20, 2022 | Presenter - The Very Rev. Canon Mark Kowalewski

Fr. Mark Kowalewski presents an introduction to the question, Why the Cross? What is atonement and why does it matter? Throughout church history, Christians have grappled with why we worship a crucified king. How can Jesus' shameful death bring new life to our fallen world? We will explore some classic answers to this question.

Week 2

"Confidence to Enter"

March 27, 2022 | Presenter - Amy Peeler

The Rev. Amy Peeler is an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Chicago and is Associate Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College and holds the Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from Princeton University. Her presentation will focus on different images of the cross and atonement in the Epistle to the Hebrews -- a New Testament letter focusing on the saving work of Jesus through the cross and in his resurrection and Ascension. She is the co-author of Hebrews: An Introduction and Study Guide, with Patrick Gray, and the forthcoming, Women and the Gender of God.

Week 3

"Why the Cross: Different Answers from Diverse Contexts"

April 3, 2022 | Presenter - Mark Baker

Mark Baker is Professor of Mission and theology, J.B. Toews Chair, at Fresno Pacific University, and holds the Ph.D. from Duke University. He will explore images of the cross and atonement emerging from different cultural contexts. Much of his academic research has focused on the theology of the cross and atonement. He is co-author of Recovering the Scandal of the Cross: Atonement in New Testament & Contemporary Contexts, along with Joel Green, who presented during our class on Luke's Gospel. Among his other works are Proclaiming the Scandal of the Cross: Contemporary Images of Atonement, and Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures: Biblical Foundations and Practical Essentials, co-author with Jayson Georges.

Resource | Atonement Images St. John's Cathedral Handout

Week 4

"For Millions and for Me”

April 10, 2022 | Presenter - The Very Rev. Canon Mark Kowalewski

Fr. Mark wraps up our series on Palm Sunday as we begin the walk through Holy Week. How can we encounter Jesus at the cross and in the resurrection and what does it mean for our lives?