One thing I've heard, but cannot currently verify, is that the Fathers are not strong on why the death of the Messiah had to be a death on the Cross (although I think Irenaeus might have something to say about that Tree). Sitting in a Christmas Eve service this week, though, I was struck with a connection that I hadn't made before. It is this:
The reason the Christ must die on the Cross is not because it is the most torturous, but rather because it is the most shameful. Adam became shamed by his disobedience; through the shame of the Cross this is defeated and reversed. Clothing ourselves in the shamed Christ, who deserved no shame, is what brings us to glory.
Shame must be dealt with, not by a legal fiction of "forgetting," but by defeat at its own game. It is not enough to circumvent the weapons of the enemy (and what is shame but such a weapon -- I will expand on this in regards to the Law in the future); those tool must be rendered null and void. Salvation is from shame, from guilt, from death -- this is why ethics are so vital for the life of the Church, for death must have no place in the Body of Christ, the medicine and hospital of immortality.
More needs to be said, but I am typing this on an iPad, which is a bit cumbersome for me. Once the holidays are over, I'll expand on this.
For His glory and for the ending of Adam's shame. Amen.