What’s the deal with celebrating Christ’s death, anyway?

March 23, 2008

Good question! It was one that I often wrestled with as a teenager. Why did we, as Roman Catholics (as I was at the time) celebrate the brutal, torturous death of Jesus? What was the significance of it?

 While I don’t have time right now to exposit on it (it is, in essence, a central aspect of the Christan Gospel message), I have written a summary of the Gospel message at  https://darthmaulmakesmesmile.wordpress.com/the-bible/.

CMI have published a brief article, “Genesis and the Cross,” on their apologetics ministry website. Here’s a brief extract and link to the rest of the article.


Genesis and the Cross

by Tas Walker  [Published: 21 March 2008]

It may seem odd for people to celebrate the humiliating defeat of their leader and hero. But the suffering, shame and death of Jesus Christ are a source of hope to Christians.

No one wants to live in a world where evil is ignored, or worse still, approved. Everyone yearns for justice when they have been mocked, insulted, betrayed or abused. [Read more at http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/5679/…]



  1. […] Jesse Rios wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptGood question! It was one that I often wrestled with as a teenager. Why did we, as Roman Catholics (as I was at the time) celebrate the brutal, torturous death of Jesus? What was the significance of it? While I don’t have time right now … […]

  2. I am left confused as to understanding how it would be the case that a believing Christian could ever see the sacrifice on the cross as a “humiliating defeat” or a “shame”. IT certainly was humiliating – humiliating to the powers of Death and to Satan whose grasp had been broken.

    The day our sins were paid for with the atonement of our Savior… How can anyone wonder why we would not solemnly commemorate that event?

    Really, how can anyone NOT be drawn to commemorating the day salvation was offered to the world?

  3. I am aiming at a non-Christian audience here who would not understand the significance of the death and resurrection of Christ. The fact is, many non-Christians do not understand this aspect of Christianity. Are you opposed to sharing explaining this to curious people who don’t yet understand? Read the article, it will help you realise that the people who wrote it are NOT ashamed of the death & resurrection of Christ, they are simply explaining it in terms non-Christians can understand.

  4. Fair enough.

    I guess I misread the article missing its main thesis on the first go-round. Lately in the blogosphere I am mistified by some who seem at a loss to spend real time examinging with emphasis the Ultimate Sacrifice. You are most definately not in that crowd!

    Of course, I am never opposed to apologetics for Jesus Christ. We need to be careful we approach from a more positive perspective in explaining from the get-go that we see no defeat – only victory in the life-giving sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

  5. Cool, I’m glad we’ve worked that one out!

    I can sympathise with your perspective.

    I suppose I am approaching it from my own experience of being a former anti-Christian skeptic, and as someone who now works with a local church youth ministry carrying the Gospel to teenagers – many of whom are very skeptical and negative to the Cross. In a way it is like starting with their language and translating it into a theology that they understand, and comprehend, that is (hopefully) accurate to the Word of God. [It reminds me of a Ravi Zacharias sermon that mentioned this phenomenon, that Christian apologetics these days often requires using the language of the secular world to begin communicating the spiritual.]

    I can understand your desire to explain the Cross from a positive perspective, and I personally see it as the most wonderful thing in the Universe wrapped together with the greatest injustice, in a sense, in that He who was completely sinless underwent the penalty for sin. But He did so willingly, that was His plan from the start – which is something that my first church community seemed to forget. I’ve had people from that tradition, as well as agnostics / atheists ask questions like, ‘why would you worship a man who was murdered?’ So I start with that question – ‘why would we worship someone who was murdered?’ and develop that to the answer that He was freely sacrificed to atone for the sins of those who accept Him in faith through grace.

    The church in which I am currently a member / leader is committed to the Gospel of the death and resurrection of Christ as the path to salvation and relationship with God the Father, and the indwelling Holy Spirit helping us to bear Godly fruit in our lives.

    Anyway, thank you again for clarifying your perspectives on these issues.


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