Is Christ on the cross our brother in suffering or our King in triumph? Jesus’ death is at the heart of Christianity, but the four Gospel accounts are very different and the cross has been seen as both the throne of God’s glory and the place of ultimate desolationand defeat. In addition we have 2,000 years of interpretations, paintings, poems, theologies and liturgies that add to the complexity, and sometimes to the confusion.
The cross is also commonly interpreted as the event which reconciles God and humanity in love. But how does that happen? And what does Jesus mean when he tells us that we must take up our cross and follow him?
Paula Gooder and Mark Oakley will look at different aspects of the cross through the gospels and poetry, exploring some of what we might learn from it not only of sin and reconciliation, but also of new life, love, freedom and creation made new.
Paula Gooder is Director of Mission, Learning and Development in the Birmingham Diocese. A much-loved Biblical scholar, writer and teacher, her best-selling books include Journey to the Empty Tomb, Body: Biblical Spirituality for the Whole Person and Heaven (all SPCK).
Mark Oakley is Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, overseeing its learning and visual arts programmes. His latest book, The Splash of Words: Believing in Poetry (Canterbury Press), was published in 2016 to great acclaim.
Chaired by The Revd Prebendary Marjorie Brown, recorded 13 March 2018.