Oh the beautiful paradoxes and contradictions in the cross. Strength in weakness. Glory in shame. Victory in Defeat. Life in Death. Gaining through Losing. Peace in violence. Friendship in enmity. Kingship in criminality. Blamelessness in condemnation.
The Gospels surrounding the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (including the following, which is taken from the Sunday after the Feast of the Exaltation) bring this to light. And for those of us who hear these words, we can only be thankful for the way in which this paradox comes to us. Through losing our lives, we find our lives. As we take up the cross, we gain our life, even though it would seem as though we are taking up our own destruction. And in gaining our life, the kingdom of God comes to us in power, at the moment of giving up our lives, at the moment of laying it down.