Jesus told His sinful audience that He was going somewhere that they couldn't come (Jn 8:21). One possible way to interpret this saying is to identify His destination as the cross. In our old, sinful nature, we "cannot come" (Jn 8:21) to the cross.
If we haven't committed our lives to Jesus, we "cannot come" near the cross; rather, we flee from it (see Mk 14:50). Chained to our old, sinful nature, we are doomed to die in our sins (Jn 8:21, 24). We are enemies of the cross (Phil 3:18). In fact, when we live in our sins, the only time we come near the cross is for the purpose of nailing Jesus to it (see Heb 6:6; Catechism, 598).
What a miserable dilemma! To avoid dying in our sins, we need to believe that Jesus is God, I AM (Jn 8:24). However, we need to come to the cross to realize that Jesus is God (Jn 8:28).
Therefore, in His mercy, Jesus came down from heaven to go where we could not: the cross. When the crucified Jesus was lifted up on the cross, He snatched up our sinful nature and nailed it to the cross to be crucified with Him (Col 2:14). Hanging on the cross, Jesus draws all to Himself (Jn 12:32). By the grace and favor of God, we sinners who flee from the cross are given the desire to turn and look on Jesus. If we accept this grace, we will realize this crucified Jesus is God (Jn 8:28). We will believe in Him, accept Him as Lord and Savior (Jn 3:14-15), and be healed (Nm 21:9).
Come to the cross today. Be set free in Jesus.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from April 1, 2006 through May 31, 2006.
†Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 27, 2005.