Easter does not erase the Cross.  Easter transforms it.

The Jews who listened to Peter’s preaching on Pentecost learned this firsthand.  Peter’s speech ends with an indictment: you crucified Jesus, the Lord and Messiah.  Peter does not gloss over this point; if anything, he emphasizes it. The crowd knows what Peter says is true; each knows he or she is not completely innocent.  And so, “they were cut to the heart.”

But this is also an Easter proclamation.  With the Cross comes the Resurrection, not to replace the Cross, but to turn death into life.

If, like the crowds at Pentecost, we turn back to look at the Cross, we too may be cut to the heart.  But if we look with the light of Easter, then in the midst of the shame, confusion, and scandal of the Cross, we may find the seeds of new life.

—William Manaker, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the Central-Southern Jesuit province, is studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.