One goes up on the cross and comes down from the cross; it is the place where our infinite striving to ascend and conquer heaven meets the infinite humility of God, who descends into our nothingness for love alone.
Man dies on the cross and from the cross receives life: this is the mystery of faith that can undo the last knot of existence: Why is there the pain? Why death? Why the pain and death of the innocent? To unravel these questions, Nicodemus—a Pharisee, an authority of the Jews, a just and wise man—went to Jesus at night. The nighttime conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus symbolizes night advancing towards dawn, questioning in search of the light of truth. Now, Jesus, in answering, indicates the mysterious sign of the cross, where night becomes day, suffering manifests love, and the curse turns into salvation. The figure of Nicodemus will return on the evening of the human existence of the man from Nazareth: he first takes his defense and, then, buries his body in a new tomb after the tragedy of Calvary. In advance, however, Nicodemus was instructed on how to read and interpret the signs in another way, no longer “from below,” according to human wisdom and experience, but “from above,” in accordance with the logic and the wisdom of God. In the crucified and risen Jesus, revelation and mystery coincide, because the incarnate Logos, by giving all of Himself, reveals the Agape, the Love that is God. Jesus and Nicodemus spoke of these things in the night.