~ by Randy Bushey
He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed (1 Peter 2:24).
Here are 2 concepts that occupy my mind as I meditate with wonder at the cross of Christ this Easter weekend:
Why did Jesus allow Himself to be crucified?
The One hanging on the Cross was He who spoke the entire cosmos into being by the power of His voice. The creative work of the Triune God was accomplished through the Son. Of Christ the Apostle John declares in the prologue to his gospel: All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:3).
So here’s the thing: the Voice that from nothing created mass, energy, design, function, purpose, time and motion – that same Voice in a single word could have annihilated those nailing Him to the cross. But although the temptation in the face of that angry, sneering, contemptuous, and violent provocation must have been maximally extreme – with every slash of the whip, every blow of the mallet – He chose to meekly and patiently submit to that ignominious suffering and death by crucifixion for our salvation.
We could have been liberated no other way.
Why did my sin demand such an exorbitant price?
Even the word sin seems archaic, a term we don’t hear outside of church or biblical conversations.
I have a growing need to comprehend how abhorrent, loathsome, and odious is my moral failure to the One who is the personification of justice, goodness, beauty, and righteous light.
Too often, God is thought of as the angry neighbor down the street.
Years ago, we had someone like that living next door. He appeared to always be watching for reasons to express his indignation and wrath with the neighborhood kids.
But the more we understand the absolute wonder of who God is, the better we understand His righteousness (justice + truth + beauty), and by contrast, how perversely evil we are.
Sin is described in the Bible as polluting, corrupting, defacing, desecrating and rendering ugly that which was originally beautiful. It is a horrendous debt that can never be paid.
It causes me to damage most those I love best.
So how could – why would – Christ, the perfect Lamb of God who had never once succumbed even momentarily to temptation bear my sin, let alone the sin of the world?
In what in many ways was parallel to a cosmic prisoner swap, we were transferred from darkness to light.
For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13,14).
In His execution, He appeared to be passive, a victim; but he was actively achieving eternal victory as Christus Victor!
He proclaimed death to what destroys us. He introduced a fresh, transformative start.
Our bent to breaching God’s law is replaced by a hunger for justice.
His wounds bring my healing. His death brought me life.
The Perfect One who personified absolute purity became sin for us, our Substitute.
The transaction is triggered by repentant faith.
That is the Gospel: Christ in my place.
Takeaway: My sin is sufficiently grievous as to necessitate the Sacrifice of infinite worth.
We who personified hypocrisy and failure and were characterized by absolute brokenness are now recognized by God as being in Christ: forgiven, liberated, redeemed, whole and righteous.
Do you live in the glow of that truth?
- graphic by freebibleimages.org (LUMO project)
- this post first appeared in April 2017.