A very good reflection upon Good Friday here:
Throughout the whole drama of Jesus’s condemnation and execution, it is as though the powers of evil are defying God to reveal himself. God would not be God if the Kingdom that Jesus proclaimed ended in futility. And it would be worse than failure if the Father’s intention to save and forgive was changed into vengeance and some worldly power-play. To answer evil with evil – as though the law of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” guided God’s own behaviour – would be the flat contradiction of all that Jesus stood for.
Yet there is no divine vengeance. Love does not turn to hatred and revenge. God is no self-serving worldly power. The Father sends no legion of angels. For the God of Jesus has refused to have any presence in the world save that of the crucified Son. And, as this Son prays for the forgiveness of those who have crucified him, he rejects any worldly identity, any worldly justification or protection, save what can be found in an ultimate mercy.
In venerating the Cross, faith remembers. It recognises Jesus as the victim of a world that barricades itself against the call of love and justice. Violence is the ultimate decider, and hope is left with nothing but what God can be and do. In such a world, and for the salvation of such a world, God has to be revealed in a way never been known before. The God of the Cross, of self-giving love, the God of those who trust that the world can be otherwise.