Review: "The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ" by Fleming Rutledge
This is the book. Block out days or weeks in your reading plans, open your Bible and this volume, and endeavor to grasp the scope and the depths of God's gift in Christ.
Rutledge writes with the clarifying analysis of a scholar and the lyrical power of a lifelong preacher, and the headlines of history are never far from her hand. I found her style irresistible.
She openhandedly allows the many biblical and theological motifs of the meaning of the cross to interact and interpret one another: passover and exodus, sacrifice, ransom and redemption, final judgment, apocalyptic war, descent into hell, substitution, recapitulation, and more.
This interplay demonstrates how, not only the theologians and preachers of church history, but the New Testament authors themselves have plunged and strained to describe and understand the scandalously unique Christian claim that "glorifies as Son of God a man who was degraded and dehumanized by his fellow human beings," and the "radical newness of the Christian gospel" that "cuts against the grain of all religious and moral thinking" by speaking precisely to those who have not or cannot turn toward God or religion.
I will have to write further reflections piece by piece as I adapt this book for my own teaching and preaching.
One of this generation's gems.