Easter Week has arrived and reflection upon the cross of Christ beckons our focus. The cross looms over the wrecks of time as the one eternal plus sign. The longer I live the more the cross becomes burned in my soul. While I will never be able to fully plumb the depths of its divine mystery, I am fully persuaded that the answer to the woes of humanity is found in the Christ of the cross. Our God has acted in the affairs of humanity, providing through His Son on the cross all that man needs for redemption from his sins and the reconciling of man unto his Creator. Nature reveals that there is a Supreme Being; the cross reveals the character of the Being of which nature is a witness. God’s first creation creates in us awe. His second creation of a New Humanity bought in the cross creates in our souls worship. The Light that shines on the Babe of Bethlehem, finds its Source in the cross that awaited Him. When I speak of the event of the cross, I refer to all that surrounds it – the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
The guiding light of the Christian faith is found in the loving righteousness of the One who hung upon the atoning cross. Fallen man seeks answers to life anchored in his own selfish whims, yet the atoning cross is the only true magnetic North for humanity. We must ever keep our eyes upon the cross and seek to understand the marvel of its mystery, its practicality for daily living, and the grace found in the holy-love of the Father that ever flows freely from Christ and His redemptive work on our behalf.
The cross must never be stripped from its relation to the holy-love of God and His judgment upon our sin and its atoning power that can deliver us in the midst of our sin. We are not saved and kept by the sentimentality of some mystic ideal, but by the historical Act of God in the Christ of the cross which is the ground of our salvation. Salvation never means escape from the world, but it means God’s coming to earth in Christ to deal with our sins that we might experience fellowship with Him so we can walk uprightly while in this world. When the cross becomes devoid of God’s holy judgment upon our sin and His atoning work in the midst of our sin, then the cross has lost its power to save. The cross is more than a humanistic relic of religion, but it’s the eternal instrument that reconciles sinful man with a Holy God. It was at the cross judgment upon sin and grace met. It was on Calvary’s Hill that Christ in grace offered His perfect life for us, which life we could not live; and it was there, as our Substitute, He took upon Himself the judgment we deserve.
The cross has invaded the historic affairs of humanity with an act of both mercy and judgment. By faith we are connected to this historical Act, an Act which declares us to be righteous as well as empowers us to live in a relationship with the Righteous One. By faith we are placed into a New Humanity anchored in the holy-love of the Father who calls us to walk in newness of life. When one is guided by the Light of the cross there burns within their soul a passion that longs for all humanity to find connection in the universal finished work of Christ to the glory of the Holy Father.
At the cross Christ who knew no sin become sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (II Corinthians 5:21). At the cross the Father brought forth His loving judgment upon our sin wherein lies our victory. The cross is not an instrument just to bless us but to redeem us and to reconcile us to a Holy God. As the cross becomes our compass we strive to live in obedience to the One who was obedient even unto death on that wooden tree. The cross teaches us that love must not be based upon mere human sentimentality, but be based upon biblical righteousness working within the sphere of grace anchored in the holy-love of the Father.
Christ’s work on the cross was for the purpose of God’s holy-love dealing with our sin and reconciling us unto Himself. As the Christ of the cross becomes the object of our focus we find our lives becoming in-tune with the One who acted in history. As P.T. Forsyth exclaimed, “From the darkness through the cross into the Light.” Yes, one is only a recipient of God’s amazing grace as one’s heart is awakened to the truth that sin was judged in the Christ of the cross. It is then the darkness in our soul is replaced with the Light of His marvelous redemption.
In a day when the humanistic winds of unbelief seeks to devalue the cross, let us uncompromisingly keep our eyes on the Christ of the cross. It is in the crucified Savior where we find humanity’s true magnetic North that amidst the sinking sands of this world will guide our feet to walk on solid ground.