Another Way to See the Cross

Intro Email Series with Richard Rohr
Another Way to See the Cross

If you grew up hearing the atonement version of the crucifixion story, chances are you felt a little confused about why a loving God would need such a brutal execution of “his” child to show us love. Did Jesus really have to die to save us? Why would God need a bloody sacrifice in order to forgive us? 

An understanding of the cross forms how we understand God and Christianity. And for centuries a narrow understanding of the “atonement” of the cross has been accepted by a wide swath of Christian denominations. Surprisingly, this view of Jesus’ death on the cross isn’t the only view—nor was it the earliest view. Atonement—the idea that God required Jesus’ life in exchange for forgiveness—actually didn’t come into common practice until the 12th century. For the majority of Christian history, other understandings were widely explored and some considered orthodox (or correct). “Another Way to See the Cross” shows several streams of Christianity that have understood Jesus’ death and resurrection as an invitation to God’s inclusive and nonviolent love.  

Discover a paradigm that helps hold together God’s loving character with human sin and suffering through an email series with Franciscan teacher and author Richard Rohr. Rather than a one-time event to change God’s mind about humans, Jesus’ life and death were focused on changing our minds about God. This series offers a deeper meaning of the cross that has been present from the beginning (we just have a hard time accepting radical grace!). 

Wrap your mind and heart around this: Transformational love is the basic pattern of reality. The crucifixion and resurrection reveal God’s healing, restorative justice at work throughout history and the whole universe, even in the face of what seems hopeless.  

Join Richard Rohr in a three-week series exploring scriptural and Franciscan views of Jesus’ death on the cross. In this series, you’ll receive two short audios or written lessons each week along with questions to inspire your own reflection or to facilitate a conversation in a private Facebook group.

Image credit: Body and Blood (detail), Janet McKenzie,

The work of the Center for Action and Contemplation is possible only because of friends and supporters like you!

Learn more about making a donation to the CAC.