Parish News : April 2022

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The large crucifix on the East wall of the church is a feature you cannot miss when you walk in.  It is also something that divides visitors – a bit like Marmite, some love it and some hate it.   Some say the figure of Jesus looks wrong – his face is too serene, he gives no impression of pain or anguish or suffering.  There is no wound in his side from being pierced by the soldier. 

Many images of the crucifixion from the twentieth or twenty-first century focus on his suffering on the cross, they give images of someone in excruciating pain, or blood, of torment.  This enables us to have the reassurance that whatever we go through, whatever someone else we know goes through, Christ understands what it’s like.  Because he has been there too.  But the message of the cross is so much more than that. 

Jesus suffered and died in order to do away with the cause of suffering and heartache.  Our sinfulness is at heart of what lies behind pain and suffering.  Jesus’ death on the cross – and resurrection – means that all sin is wiped away.  Completely.  Totally.  Once and for all time.  His one perfect sacrifice is all that is required.  It is finished.  Done. 

The word Jesus said from the cross ‘It is finished’ is the English translation of the Greek word ‘Tetelestai’. That word is a legal term.  It means that everything has been paid, it is all legally sewn up.  Nothing whatsoever is left.  I think we sometimes know that in our heads, but still want to hold on to some of the sin that Jesus’s death has paid the price for.

So the calm, and devoid of pain, figure of Christ on the cross in Holy Trinity Church is not unrealistic, or overly sanitised (though the lack of wound in the side does bother me).  It is depicting God who has just finished the work on the cross.  It’s all over now, so no need for any more pain or grief.

Alleluia, Christ is risen.  He is risen indeed, Alleluia!

God has forgiven us already.  So, let us seek his will and place our trust in him, that his will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

    Tina Upton