In one week Jesus goes from palms to passion, hosanna to crucify, triumphal entry to excruciating exit. Theologian Frederick Buechner calls it the “magnificent defeat”. What appears to be the most dramatic fall from grace for the Galilean peasant preacher is the way God exalts the name of Jesus above every name. It’s not the way we would have done it which is why we keep trying to make the cross more respectable. Truth is it is as ugly an invention as humans can devise. All the imagination and ingenuity we can muster spent on creating an instrument of torture that takes its time so that death does not rob us of the pleasure of seeing someone suffer. And before you say “not me” even those who drive the speed limit and pay their taxes and say “please” and “thank you” are capable of turning a blind eye to evil done in the name of king and country. And so God says to these willful creatures brought into being on the sixth day, “do your worst” and they do. The good news is our worst was not good enough and the dead Jesus taken down from the cross by close friends is not out for the count.