There are many angles to look at the cross of Christ, this is why the Bible has 4 gospels, 4 people who looked from different views. Let’s take a look at two perspectives that paint two clear pictures of the cross in the light of Christianity.
1) The love and grace of God. Love in this world is radically different to the love shown on the cross. We are constantly told and shown what love is through television and films. The fairytale love story where boy meets girl, the charming prince that saves with a kiss, the superhero that displays might and power and of course gets the girl. We know these films, we know this kind of love. Ironically in some films love does include sacrifice, whether it’s giving up something for the love of the woman or giving up for the love of something else like saving a city they love. Yes we see it everywhere. Yet there is not many stories of love being humiliated in public and dying for people who put him in that place. John 15:13 says that there is no greater love than to lay down ones life for his friends. The grace is laying down his life for his enemies. In truth we are all his enemies at first, the ironic twist is that through the cross and acceptance of it we become friends of God, amazing! Let’s move on to number 2.
2) What God really thinks of the world’s sin. It is easy to think that because we don’t get told off or corrected everytime we do wrong that God is tolerant of our wrongs. When we think this, we need to look at the cross. Our conscience’s are our indicator when we do something wrong, sadly through desensitisation some conscience’s have lost the ability to know the difference.The cross is our indication of what God truly thinks of sin. The cross is known as the most embarrassing and shameful form of capital punishment ever used, usually reserved for the worst criminals such as murderers. The irony is Jesus was without sin yet suffered the worst punishment. Why? Well to put in its simplest way it was his love for us.
A transaction took place at the cross, our sin and shame for his forgiveness and acceptance. Thats love, a love expressed through words such as; ‘my God my God why have you forsaken me’, ‘forgive them father for they know not what they do’ and to the ultimate depth of this love the words, ‘it is done!’. In truth we deserved that cross more, but Jesus chose to take our place. So God showed how severe sin is through 39 lashes on the back, a crown made of thorns, nails through the hands and feet after carrying the cross, rejection from people and rejection from the father himself. This was the extremes of love, and what does God require for this love? Only that we believe that he really does love us that much.
Next post: The joy after the cross