Making Sense of the Crucifixion

How do we make sense of the cross? What does the cross mean to you-

Theories of atonement, of the crucifixion and resurrection, abound. Our Making Sense of the Cross courses with David Lose can help you understand the ways that theologians and lay people have tried to make sense of the cross over the millennia. Because whatever we say and believe about the cross, we also say and believe about God. As we journey through Holy Week, it might pay to ponder these questions anew, either at home on your own, or with a small group.

And yet we also should remember David Lose’s injunction to view the cross not just as a sign or a theory, but as an experience: “What if the gospels aren’t just a record of the cross but an invitation to experience God?”  How do we experience Jesus through the troubling miracle of the crucifixion and resurrection? If we think of the cross this way, what can we learn about what we believe and why we go to church? Who is Jesus?

We would love to hear, in the comments below or in your own social media posts (use hashtag #churchnext), what new realizations about Jesus you have this week, or what old truths about the cross you are reminded of. And don’t forget to take part in The Big Class: A Simple Path to a Deeper Spiritual Life, which runs for free through Easter Day.

We pray that this Holy Week brings you a renewed sense of the closeness of God-with-us and of your own call to follow in Jesus’ footsteps.

Virtual Connections


Our good friend and instructor David Lose reflected recently on churches’ use of social media in response to a presentation by pastor Keith Anderson. David says,

The key, I think, from my own experience and from listening to Keith and others, is that we imagine these forms not only as ways to push out more of our information, or even to use them to provide inspiration – both of which have some value – but are far more about forming and nurturing relationships in an increasingly socially fragmented world. Social media, that is, at its best allows us to connect with each other in new ways.”

We couldn’t agree more; as we spoke about here, with the launch of ChurchNext for Groups, we’re committed to connecting people on their journeys as disciples, to enabling folks to be in community in new ways, to re-collect what it means to live in relationship — with God and with each other. We pray that ChurchNext helps people feel connected to their church and their fellow sojourners even when they’re not physically in the pews. We hope that ChurchNext for Groups continues to empower folks to imagine new ways of learning and connecting.

And don’t forget: The Big Class: A Simple Path to a Deeper Spiritual Life with Becca Stevens continues free, worldwide through Easter Sunday. We invite you to connect with seekers around the world over the next week as we contemplate going deeper in our walk with Christ. Blessings to you in this Holy Week.

Available Now: Making Sense of the Cross Part Two: The Cross and The Bible, with David Lose

Whatever we say about the Cross, we’re also saying about God.  And yet far more people are puzzled about the Cross than would claim to understand it. In this second of his three-part Church Next course called Making Sense of the Cross, author, theologian, and pastor David Lose helps us understand what the Bible can teach us about the Cross. For more information about Making Sense of the Cross Part II, click here.

davidloseThis online course is based on the Augsburg Fortress DVD-based curriculum of the same name, so if you’ve experienced that teaching, this will be very familiar.

This class includes six lessons:

  • A Man Hanging on a Tree
  • Why Four Gospels?
  • Matthew and the Cross
  • Mark and the Cross
  • Luke and the Cross
  • John and the Cross

This course helps us understand how each of the gospels can teach us something new about the Cross and about God; it is perfect for newcomers and lifelong Christians alike.

If you would rather purchase the 6-part Augsburg Fortress DVD-based series, click here.

Again, for more information and to register for Making Sense of the Cross Part II, click here.