Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

Love despite the cost

Here is a project for you.

Describe a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich (PB&J) without talking about the peanut butter or describe a PB&J without talking about the jelly.

Then ask yourself the question, "Can it be done?"

The answer is "No".  

Attempts to the describe a PB&J by leaving out one of its significant components distort the picture of a PB&J. A description of a PB&J requires a discussion of both the peanut butter and the jelly.

So, too, the Cross.

Like a PB&J, the Cross represents a two dimensional reality. A distorted picture of the Cross is created unless both layers of its reality and the connection between the two are discussed.

Unfortunately, since the thirty-three Visit that the Son of God paid us at and about the city of Jerusalem in a region of our planet called the Middle East more than two thousand years ago, interpretation of the meaning of the Cross has fallen into the hands of one dimensional thinkers. One dimensional thinkers do not have a capacity to understand the Cross. A one gallon tank cannot handle two gallons of gasoline. 

The surface dimension of the Cross is easy to see. We tortured and killed the Son of God while He was human, alive, tender and vulnerable. The Son of God suffered and died. His body, His Blood, and His life itself were His to keep not ours to take. Yet, we took them anyway.

One dimensional thinkers see the surface dimension of the Cross. However, this is all they see. This is all they see because they are nearsighted. Their vision stops at the bloody wounds we opened in the body of Christ with lash, thorns, nails and spear. They do not realize that the bloody wounds are windows. The windows let us look to the subsurface dimension of the Cross.

What is seen when we look through the bloody wounds? What do the windows allow us to see?

We see the most sacred heart of the Son of God. We see that it stayed full to the brim with love for us as we baptized Him in the boiling cauldron of pain and suffering. We see that He clung to his love for us, held tight and did not let go. He clung to his love for us with the iron grip of a drowning man who clings to a life preserver during a raging storm after his ship has sunk. He surrendered to us His body. He surrendered to us His blood. He surrendered to us His very life itself. But He refused to surrender to us His love for us. His love for us was His prized possession. He refused to give it up. He refused to let us extinguish it or reduce it by even the slightest degree.  He demonstrated to us that the dial that regulates his love for us is in his hands not ours. Moreover, it is set to the highest degree and is locked in place. Calvary proved that His love for us is indestructible - that His love for us is intransigent - that His love for us is invincible - that His love for us is important to Him.

Furthermore, He legalized the taking of His body and the taking of His blood post last supper to remind us of the exorbitant price that He paid to guarantee the genuineness of His love for us. His body and His blood are the coin of suffering with which He paid our ransom. The revelation of Calvary was not free. It came at an exorbitant cost. Furthermore, He paid the cost not from his limitless divine resources but from His limited human resources. He paid them all for us. He kept not a penny for Himself (John 15:13). He has never paid more for anything else! We are quite valuable to Him. How do we know? Look at the price He paid for us.

The most Holy Eucharist is the rainbow of the new covenant that reminds us of Calvary. It reminds us of the sweetness of paradise.

Wow! That God did Calvary for us leads us to the ineluctable conclusion that there is nothing that God wouldn't do for us! Where do I sign up? How do I enlist? How do I join the kingdom of God who loves me so much? 

How can you tell that you are being fed an interpretation of the Cross made by a one dimensional thinker?

First, Calvary is about God not about us. Calvary was apocalypse. It was revelation about God. God tore in twain the veil that hides the holy of holies from us and God stepped through the torn veil to show us the glorious splendor of divinity itself. One dimensional thinkers do not talk about the relationship between Calvary and God. They extrapolate from Calvary to a rule of conduct and apply it to us to add to our burden. One dimensional thinkers do not answer the question, "What does Calvary tell us about the nature of God?".

Second, one dimensional thinkers never talk about God's refusal to surrender His love for us. All they talk about is the evil baptism into which we immersed the Son of God while He was human, alive, tender and vulnerable. They are obsessed with the evil we did to Him. They have no interest in the fact that God continued to love us nonetheless.

Happy Easter! Keep your hopes up. Keep your expectations high. God is a philanthropist. God is not a sadist. God wants you to love - to love despite the cost. God does not want you to suffer.