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    Chris Ryan MGL quote. People referred to the symbolism of the empty Cross more than once on its journey. It would seem obviously to point to our faith in Jesus’ resurrection. It’s not quite so simple though. The Cross is bare, but in and of itself the empty Cross does not point directly to the Resurrection. It says only that the body of Jesus was removed from the Cross. If a crucifix is a symbol of Good Friday, then it is the image of the empty tomb that speaks more directly of Easter and resurrection. The empty Cross is a symbol of Holy Saturday. It’s an indicator of the reality of Jesus’ death, of His sharing in our mortal coil. At the same time, the empty Cross is an implicit sign of impending resurrection, and it tells us that the Cross is not only a symbol of hatred, violence and inhumanity: it says that the Cross is about something more.The empty Cross also tells us not to jump too quickly to resurrection, as if the Resurrection were a trump card that somehow absolves us from suffering. The Resurrection is not a divine ‘get-out-of-jail free’ card that immunises people from pain, suffering or death. To jump too quickly to the Resurrection runs the risk of trivialising people’s pain and seemingly mapping out a way through suffering that reduces the reality of having to live in pain and endure it at times. For people grieving, introducing the message of the Resurrection too quickly cheapens or nullifies their sense of loss. The empty Cross reminds us that we cannot avoid suffering and death. At the same time, the empty Cross tells us that, because of Jesus’ death, the meaning of pain, suffering and our own death has changed, that these are not all-crushing or definitive. The empty Cross says that the way through to resurrection must always break in from without as something new, that it cannot be taken hold of in advance of suffering or seized as a panacea to pain. In other words, the empty Cross is a sign of hope. It tells us that the new life of God surprises us, comes at a moment we cannot expect, and reminds us that experiences of pain, grief and dying are suffused with the presence of Christ, the One Who was crucified and is now risen

    People referred to the symbolism of the empty Cross more than once on its journey. It would seem obviously to point to our faith in Jesus’ resurrection. It’s not quite so simple though. The Cross is bare, but in and of itself the empty Cross does not point directly to the Resurrection. It says only that the body of Jesus was removed from the Cross. If a crucifix is a symbol of Good Friday, then it is the image of the empty tomb that speaks more directly of Easter and resurrection. The empty Cross is a symbol of Holy Saturday. It’s an indicator of the reality of Jesus’ death, of His sharing in our mortal coil. At the same time, the empty Cross is an implicit sign of impending resurrection, and it tells us that the Cross is not only a symbol of hatred, violence and inhumanity: it says that the Cross is about something more.The empty Cross also tells us not to jump too quickly to resurrection, as if the Resurrection were a trump card that somehow absolves us from suffering. The Resurrection is not a divine ‘get-out-of-jail free’ card that immunises people from pain, suffering or death. To jump too quickly to the Resurrection runs the risk of trivialising people’s pain and seemingly mapping out a way through suffering that reduces the reality of having to live in pain and endure it at times. For people grieving, introducing the message of the Resurrection too quickly cheapens or nullifies their sense of loss. The empty Cross reminds us that we cannot avoid suffering and death. At the same time, the empty Cross tells us that, because of Jesus’ death, the meaning of pain, suffering and our own death has changed, that these are not all-crushing or definitive. The empty Cross says that the way through to resurrection must always break in from without as something new, that it cannot be taken hold of in advance of suffering or seized as a panacea to pain. In other words, the empty Cross is a sign of hope. It tells us that the new life of God surprises us, comes at a moment we cannot expect, and reminds us that experiences of pain, grief and dying are suffused with the presence of Christ, the One Who was crucified and is now risen

    Chris Ryan MGL
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