The horrific events of September 11, 2001 were recorded in astonishing, searing images captured on video tape. As graphic as the images are they can not fully convey the terror and agony of those who were in the midst of that hell on earth. The image above is a visual metaphor of a profound truth about the terror and horror of that hell. It is far more than a serendipitous juxtaposition of a christian religious icon (a cross) with the collapsing WTC tower in the background. The truth seen in that image can only be truly appreciated when we look past the religious iconography and see the reality that it represents. The reality of the crucified Jesus hanging on a Roman cross.
It is on the cross of Jesus where we see God's true disposition towards the hellish experiences that people suffer through. It is not the aloof, transcendence of an almighty deity that allows, or even wills, such horrors to happen. On the cross of Jesus God reveals to the world that He is not the manipulating, cosmic potentate who orchestrates a hell on earth. Rather, He reveals Himself to be completely and wholly Emmanuel (God with us). God with us in the midst of all the pain, terror and horror of hell on earth. The dereliction that Jesus experienced on the cross was not merely his own personal experience of despair and death. The dereliction of Jesus is God showing the world that He has always been and always will beside us in our most godforsaken moments; that our pain is His pain; and that until all things are healed and made new in the coming New Creation, God will continue to be Emmanuel in the midst of all the hells on earth.
Words of the Spirit
Response to 11 September 2001
Cross in the rubble