Just another pointless death. A provincial prophet, a failed rebel, a stirrer-up of trouble is brutally executed by the imperial regime. A story that has been repeated innumerable times before and since. What did he and his followers expect? What did he think he could achieve against the power and privilege of the establishment even in such a minor, far-flung trouble spot? What a waste.
But here we see Jesus of Nazareth continuing to proclaim the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is near you, among you, he had preached. The kingdom of God exists wherever God’s will is done; a place where the hungry are fed and where each forgives the wrongs done to them by others. A place where that forgiveness is immediately recognized by sitting down and eating together, breaking the barriers.
And this is how Jesus dies: breaking bread with his friends and forgiving those who executed him. Here in this one day (by the reckoning of the ancient world), beginning at sunset on Thursday evening and culminating on a hillside outside the city a few hours later. Here is the epitome of the kingdom.
And so, as Jesus dies on the Cross proclaiming Love, this is no less than the inauguration of the kingdom of God on earth, as it is in heaven.