At some point I was struck by realization that in the Gospel of John the Crucifixion is everything. It is the place of the life-giving Passion of Christ, that’s obvious. But apart from that, it is unquestionably His ascension or exaltation, on the Cross He is being lifted up (J 3:14, 12:32), He ascends on high (J 6:62). On the Cross, Jesus goes to His Father (J 13:1, 16:28). On the Cross, He is glorified (J 12:23.27-28, 17:1). On the Cross, He becomes the King (J 18:36-37, 19:19). On the Cross, He accomplishes the regeneration of Adam, the new creation (J 16:21). On the Cross, He sends down the Spirit (J 19:30). On the Cross, He gives us the Baptism and the Eucharist (J 19:34-35). On the Cross, He gives life to the Church, He grants the divine adoption to His disciples and the motherhood according to grace to His Mother (J 19:25-27).
For St. John, the Cross is the all-encompassing sign of the entire economy of salvation, of the work of Christ, of His glory. It is the sign of victory, of exaltation. It may be said that Christ endured the Cross to enter the joy of Resurrection. But in the Gospel of John it seems like the very Cross is His joy and His glory, and His ultimate revelation of the Father. Christ is the King reigning from the Cross, that’s the throne of His kingdom. Contemplate this long enough and you will realize that this is the kingdom you desire, this is the kingdom you always wanted, and this is the kingdom that you were made for.
Ave Crux, Spes unica!