While I have this moment of clarity, I thought I would proclaim that the Cross subverts all systems by which humanity attempts to secure divine favor, or bring peace and order to the world. This is an assertion that is particularly directed to religious types such as myself. The Cross subverts human systems, particularly religious systems, because it radically reveals that autonomous human effort is at heart a denial of God. In other words, religion, the very thing that should function to further God’s work in the world actually works against God. This is made acutely clear in the fact that the religion that emerged from the covenant established by God’s initiative is the very religion that colluded with the premier political power of the day to crucify the Lord of Glory. This indictment, however, falls upon all systems, religious or otherwise, because all systems have a religious dimension, and all religions are represented by the religion that was established by God. My rationale for making this claim is as follows: if the system that was established by God and given the advantage of His resources to do His work actually turns against Him, how much more so do those systems that are not given such support.
This may all seem quite bleak, but actually it is the well spring of hope. Why? Because the very reality that is a sign of judgment is also a sign of grace. On the Cross God allowed himself to be broken by our brokenness, and judged for our rebellion, so that from within He could right us with Him. In this way the Cross is a double paradox for it is a sign of sovereign vulnerability and gracious judgment, for God made himself vulnerable, so that He could be crushed by our iniquities and bear the punishment that makes us whole.