Folks. It’s too much pressure to say something worthwhile, something profound, on such an important day. I can’t bear it.
Before leaving you with the words of one more exceedingly more profound and more elegant than me, let me simply say that this day recounts something that occurred to a man, Jesus. Jesus is the subject of the events we commemorate today under the title “the passion”: Jesus suffered. But, as Christians, we proclaim that that event (“the passion”) was not without aim or intention, grammatically speaking. Indeed, it occurred on our behalf: Jesus suffered for us. Finally, this relational aspect of the events we commemorate today is personalized. Jesus suffered for me. He suffered for you.
Let us not forget this.
To help us continue thinking about the dangers of Docetism, consider Kierkegaard’s line of thought below.
But the form of the servant was not something put on. Therefore the god must suffer all things, endure all things, be tried in all things, hunger in the desert, thirst in his agonies, be forsaken in death, absolutely the equal of the lowliest of human beings—look, behold the man! The suffering of death is not his suffering, but his whole life is a story of suffering, and it is love that suffers, love that gives all and is itself destitute. What wonderful self-denial to ask in concern, even though the learner is the lowliest of persons: Do you really love me?
(“The God as Teacher and Savior,” Philosophical Fragments)