A look at the cross…

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Somedays I feel it deeper than others…

I feel the effects of this sin cursed world. I feel the hurt and brokenness of so many around me. I even feel the pain of my own sin tainted life and am haunted by my failures…

But this evening I turn back to the Cross; it seems so long since I walked the road to Calvary. I forget the gravity of what happened there so easily. I take Salvation for granted and begin living under the law again, not grace. I try to be “good enough” for God so He’ll love and accept me, so I can be close to Him. But at the foot of the Cross life begins to make sense again, and the broken seems redeemable. At the Cross the impossible became possible. At the Cross grace abounds where once the law and sin abounded.

I was just reading “Boy Meets Girl” by Joshua Harris (such a thought provoking book), and it had this excerpt in it from another book called “When God Weeps” by Steven Estes and Joni Eareckson Tada. It brought me to tears, repentance and praise; and so I thought maybe, just maybe it might bless you too. Oh friend, stop and linger at the cross…

The face that Moses had begged to see – was forbidden to see – was slapped bloody (Exodus 33:19-20)

The thorns that God had sent to curse the earth’s rebellion now twisted around his brow…

“On your back with you!” One raises a mallet to sink the spike. But the soldier’s heart must continue pumping as he readies the prisoner’s wrist. Someone must sustain the soldier’s life minute by minute, for no man has this power on his own. Who supplies breath to his lungs? Who gives energy to his cells? Who holds his molecules together? Only by the Son do “all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). The victim wills that the soldier live on – he grants the warrior’s continued existence. The man swings.

As the man swings, the Son recalls how he and the Father first designed the medial nerve of the human forearm – the sensations it would be capable of. The design proves flawless – the nerves perform exquisitely. “Up you go!” They lift the cross. God is on display in his underwear and can scarcely breathe.

But these pains are a mere warm-up to his other and growing dread. He begins to feel a foreign sensation. Somewhere during this day an unearthly foul odor began to waft, not around his nose, but his heart. He feels dirty. Human wickedness starts to crawl upon his spotless being – the living excrement from our souls. The apple of his Father’s eye turns brown with rot.

His Father! He must face his Father like this!

From heaven the Father now rouses himself like a lion disturbed, shakes His mane, and roars against the shriveling remnant of a man hanging on a cross.Never has the Son seen the Father look at him so, never felt even the least of his hot breath. But the roar shakes the unseen world and darkens the visible sky. The Son does not recognize these eyes.

“Son of Man! Why have you behaved so? You have cheated, lusted, stolen, gossiped – murdered, envied, hated, lied. You have cursed, robbed, over-spent, overeaten – fornicated, disobeyed, embezzled, and blasphemed. Oh the duties you have shirked, the children you have abandoned! Who has ever so ignored the poor, so played the coward, so belittled my name? Have you ever held a razor tongue? What a self-righteous, pitiful drunk – you, who moles young boys, peddle killer drugs, travel in cliques, and mock your parents. Who gave you the boldness to rig elections, foment revolutions, torture animals, and worship demons? Does the list never end!

Splitting families, raping virgins, acting smugly, playing the pimp – buying politicians, practicing exhortation, filming pornography, accepting bribes. You have burned down buildings, perfected terrorist tactics, founded false religions, traded in slaves – relishing each morsel and bragging about it all. I hate, loathe these things in you! Disgust for everything about you consumes me! Can you not feel my wrath?

Of course the Son is innocent He is blamelessness itself. The Father knows this. But the divine pair have an agreement, and the unthinkable must now take place. Jesus will be treated as if personally responsible for every sin ever committed.

The Father watches as his heart’s treasure, the mirror image of himself, sinks drowning into raw, liquid sin. Jehovah’s stored rage against humankind from every century explodes in a single direction.

“Father! Father! Why have you forsaken me?!”

But heaven stops its ears. The Son stares up at the One who cannot, who will not, reach down or reply.

The Trinity had planned it. The Son had endured it. The Spirit enabled Him. The Father rejected the Son whom He loved. Jesus, the God-man from Nazareth, perished. The Father accepted His sacrifice for sin and was satisfied. The Rescue was accomplished.

Close your eyes for a moment. Drink the whole scene in.

I can’t even describe my own thoughts right now – so I won’t – I’ll leave you to think and pray and worship.

But oh how remembering what He did for me – what He did for us causes me to love Him more. Why wouldn’t I gladly obey every command and request my Jesus gives after what He has done?

I pray your heart is encouraged, friend. Encouraged to love Him more, pressed into greater obedience, and left gazing at the cross. Don’t ever look away. Don’t ever forget.

~Grace Elizabeth

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