“God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.”
On the face of it the crucifixion of Jesus was one more example of an innocent man unjustly condemned. But the symbol of the cross, and the church buildings over which it has been lifted are not meant to merely signify a noble death. There have been many noble deaths throughout history. What’s different about this one?
As the early Christians took up their life in the wake of Jesus life, death, resurrection and ascension, the Holy Spirit gradually revealed to them unfolding dimensions of Christ’s death. Paul’s summation captured something essential; “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.” The Church continues to proclaim the meaning of the cross as central to the faith. The following are three aspects of that proclamation.
The cross is a window into the nature of God, addressing our blindness. The cross reveals to us that God is more than an all-powerful cosmic engineer designing and creating worlds. Through the cross God has revealed that He is love.
The cross represents a battleground addressing our bondage to sin. Throughout His ministry Jesus was tempted to change course and not face the cross. He did battle with this temptation to the very end. Evil did not want the cross to happen, and thereby see its’ power over humanity broken. Through the cross God has won our freedom from sin, death and the power of evil.
Third, the cross represents the highest court, addressing our disobedience. Humanity stands before its’ Creator as a responsible creature who, in believing the lies of the evil one, has attempted to steal its’ existence from God. Through the costly death of His only-begotten Son upon the cross, God has revealed that the forgiveness of sins is the deepest expression of His love.
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”