2009 In the Shadow of the Cross

Many will remember the words of the children's hymn, 'There is a green hill far away'; elementary as they are, they contain the essentials:

But we believe it was for us
He hung and suffered there.

Just as simple and memorable is a phrase in the Eastern Orthodox liturgy, addressed to Christ: 'you left nothing undone until you had brought us to heaven' Our theories about all this are likely to be convoluted and unsatisfactory; but all we need to know is that whatever it took - and takes - for us to be set free from our destructive and deceitful traps has been done through what happened on Good Friday. Jesus has plumbed the depths of human experience, including the terrible sense of abandonment by God that he endured on the cross; he has maintained his own peace with the Father throughout it, even in the heart of the protest wrung from him as he cries, 'Why?' He has travelled to the outermost limit of what our sin and untruthfulness produce - to the edges of hell.

Rowan Williams (from tokens of trust 2007)