The story of Jesus' crucifixion for me is more than just the story of how the forgiveness of God is so supremely demonstrated in the death of this One who was "without sin." Even though I cannot put its meaning easily into human words and theological formulas, I have always found the story of Jesus' crucifixion to offer the hope that evil can sometimes be overcome in this life -- and that it has been overcome in some ultimate sense that we will fully understand only in the life to come.
The remarkable expansion of the Christian religion throughout Africa and South America today is occurring largely because of the hope that the story of Jesus brings to people living in devastating poverty and disease. I know this sounds mystical and mysterious, but I also know that the telling of the story of Jesus' crucifixion year after year during Holy Week has indeed been the "power of [God to] salvation" for those who respond to the story with belief that the God of creation has entered human history on our behalf -- and overcome evil on our behalf. And that belief is of course tied to the conviction that Jesus was raised from the dead as the ultimate sign of God's message that evil and death itself will ultimately be overcome.
-- Dr. Timothy Johnson in “Finding God in the Questions”