Sermon quotes on crucifixion

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The figure of the Crucified invalidates all thought that takes success for its standards.

Frederic Farrar

By the cross we, too, are crucified with Christ; but alive in Christ. We are no more rebels, but servants; no more servants, but sons!

George Herbert

Who would know Sin, let him repair

Unto Mount Olivet; there shall he see

A man so wrung with pains, that all his hair,

His skin, his garments bloody be.

Sin is that press and vice, which forceth pain

To hunt his cruel food through every vein.


Who knows not Love, let him assay

And taste that juice, which on the cross a pike

Did set abroad; then let him say

If ever he did taste the like.

Love is that liquor sweet and most divine,

Which my God feels as blood; but I as wine.

“The Agonie,” in George Herbert, The Complete English Poems, ed. John Tobin (New York: Penguin Books, 1991), 33.



Theodore Parker Ferris

[Speaking of crucifixion] It seems almost inevitable to me that Jesus should go through this kind of darkness. . . . If you think of Jesus as God disguised as a man, then this will have no meaning for you. But if you think of him as a real man who in the very depths of his manhood disclosed the very nature of the Godhead, then this [suffering] is inevitable . . . this is an intrinsic part of human existence.”

What Jesus Did (Cincinnati: Forward Movement Miniature Book, 1969), 83. 

Kosuke Koyama

Jesus Christ is not a quick answer. If Jesus Christ is the answer, he is the answer in the way portrayed in crucifixion.

Mount Fuji and Mount Sinai: A Critique of Idols (London: SCM, 1984), 241.

Madeleine L’Engle

Easter is always the answer to “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!”

Madeleine L’Engle Herself: Reflections on a Writing Life, Crown Publishing.

Kenneth Leech

In order to speak of the crucified God we need a theology of abandonment, of dereliction, of an alienation so profound that it can only be expressed in language marked by paradox and by great daring and risk. The Crucifixion of the Son of God by one of the most advanced civilizations in the ancient world does not seem to be an acceptable or reasonable method of redeeming the world. There is something so outrageous and obscene about it that the agony in Gethsemane becomes the only comprehensible part of the whole saga.

We Preach Christ Crucified

Jürgen Moltmann

The inner criterion of whether or not Christian theology is Christian lies in the crucified Christ . . . we come back to Luther’s lapidary statement, the cross is the test of everything: Crux probat omnia.

The Crucified God

Jürgen Moltmann

Christians who do not have the feeling that they must flee the crucified Christ have probably not yet understood him in a sufficiently radical way.”

The Crucified God

William Penn

No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown. 

John Piper

What was once foolishness to us-a crucified God-must become our wisdom and our power and our only boast in this world.

Fleming Rutledge

The Son and the Father are doing this [the crucifixion] in concert, by the power of the Spirit. This interposition of the Son between human beings and the curse of God upon Sin is a project of the three persons. The sentence of accursedness has fallen upon Jesus on our behalf and in our place, by his own decree as the second person.

The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Christ (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2015), 100.

Fleming Rutledge

The Roman world was largely unanimous that crucifixion was a horrific, disgusting business.. . . The relative scarcity of references to crucifixions in antiquity. . . are [sic] less a historical problem than an aesthetic one. . . . Crucifixion was widespread and frequent, above all in Roman times, but the cultured literary world wanted to have nothing to do with it, and as a rule kept quiet about it.

The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Christ (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2015), p.38.

Fleming Rutledge

The crucifixion is the touchstone of Christian authenticity, the unique feature by which everything else, including the resurrection, is given its true significance.

The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Christ (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2015).

William Wood Seymour

According to tradition, [during the crucifixion] our Lord’s back was turned toward Jerusalem, which was in the east and his face toward the west. This may have been a refinement of cruelty on the part of the executioners. Jesus’ back was placed toward the capital of the nation of whom the Roman governor had written he was “King,” and his face turned to the setting sun, not only to remind him of his departing glory, as his enemies fondly deemed, but that no torture, however petty, yet agonizing, as the blaze of the sun would be, might be spared.

The Cross In Tradition, History, And Art

Richard Taylor

The cross was not a symbol of the earliest Christians, who preferred the anchor, the fish or Chi Rho. The crucifixion was a problem for the early Church, since it had to convince unbelievers of what would have seemed like a bizarre claim, that its God was a victim of this Joul, and then still very current, form of punishment. Historically, crucifixion was not a punishment meted out by Jewish authorities, whose preferred method of execution was stoning: it was imported into Palestine by the Romans.. . . Therefore, it was a particular humiliation for Jesus the Jew to die on a Roman cross.

How To Read A Church

Theophan the Recluse

Remember that each of us has his own cross. The Golgotha of this cross is our heart: it is being lifted or implanted through a zealous determination to live according to the Spirit of God. Just as salvation of the world is by the Cross of God, so our salvation is by our crucifixion on our own cross.

Philip Yancey 

Love was compressed for all history in that lonely figure on the cross, who said that he could call down angels at any moment on a rescue mission, but chose not to – because of us. At Calvary, God accepted his own unbreakable terms of justice.

Where Is God When It Hurts?, Zondervan.

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