Jesuit Christians daily practice the Prayer of Examen. It is a simple form of prayer that seeks to develop receptiveness to the call of God for the purpose of a response.
We need to "examen" the cross not "examine" the cross. Jesus’ death was a supreme act of love–a love supreme, that is. "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."
Coltranes stages provide a good pattern for cross-examEnation.
Stage 1–Acknowledgement: We need to face the facts about the cross. What was God doing on the cross? The basic classical answers are
- Substitution: Jesus was absorbing our pain by taking our place.
- Reconciliation: Jesus was making peace.
- Christos Victor: Jesus was securing victory over sin, darkness and death.
- Redemption: Jesus was paying the price for our freedom
- Submission: Jesus was submitting to the will of his father
Resolution is next…