Friday, April 19, 2019

Behold, the Cross!

Behold, the life-giving cross on which was hung the salvation of the whole world.
Oh, come, let us worship him.

Resurrection Lutheran Church
Godfrey, Illinois, USA


From today's Gospel reading, the Passion according to St. John:
Then Jesus, knowing all that was to befall him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When he said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.    St. John 18:4-6 RSV
St. Augustine writes:

With no other weapon than his own solitary voice uttering the words "I am," he knocked down, repelled, and rendered helpless that great crowd, even with all their ferocious hatred and terror of arms. For God lay hidden in that human flesh, and eternal day was so obscured in those human limbs that he was looked for with lanterns and torches to be slain in the darkness. "I am," he says, and throws the wicked tothe ground. What well he do when he comes as judge, who did this when giving himself up to be judged? What will his power be like when he comes to reign, who had this kind of power when he came to die? And now even at the present time Christ is still saying through the Gospel, "I am." And . . . the resut is the same, as people go backward and fall to the ground because they have abandoned what is heavenly in favor of what is earthly.

From Tractates on the Gospel of John, as found in the Ancient Commentary on Scripture, New Testament IVb: John 11-21.