Weekly we preach the crucified Christ, at ICF-Delft. And now especially, on our way to Easter, we focus on the cross. Why? What joy could there be in looking at a cross – which was a horrible means of torture? Two things we must keep in mind.
First: if we look at Jesus, we should be aware that the coming of Jesus was the climax, the climactic moment in the history of the world. God had chosen one man – Abraham – and made promises to him. In him all the families of the earth would be blessed. This man would become a family, a people and through this people blessing would come to the whole earth. The whole earth, suffering from so much misery. When we look at the history of this family, we see however that within this family, within this people the same problems occurred as in all mankind. When Jesus came, the One came who would deal with the problem his people and all peoples deal with. Namely: sin. Which is a deep, inward unbelieving rebellion against and mistrust of our good and holy Creator God. Sin is that we are not willing to will what we should. And sin is that we are continually willing to do what is against his commandments.
The second thing we must keep in mind is that in Jesus’ life, the climax is his way to the cross. The cross was a horrible means of torture for those who rebelled, used by the Romans in those days wherein Jesus
lived. The cross did not occur to Jesus accidentally. Jesus went to the cross by purpose. He went to the cross to undergo what we deserved from God. Our sin was and is greater and more serious than we shall ever be able to realise. Now the Father sent his Son to take upon Him what we deserved. And the Son – unlike us – was willing to do anything the Father commanded him – since he loved his Father and knew the will of his Father was and is always the best. So the Son agreed with the Father in his plan for our salvation.
Now if God was willing to provide for us such great love – that he was even willing to go the cross for us – then we should radically and completely change our minds about God. The problem of sin is that we
often think, speak and act as if God were no powerful, loving, caring God. What a terrible insult are our sins to a good, holy, almighty Creator! However, in stead of giving us what we deserved, he gave us
what we did not deserve. He gave his only Son. He offers us grace. Before he comes to judge the world and all mankind – the living and the dead, he now provides in a way to be saved from his own judgement. On that day, he will be completely righteous, when he judges sinners and sends them to their deserved punishment. But now he continuous to offer us grace. To show us the depths of his love and mercy. We may come to him and he wants to own us, so that we can own what is his. We can be part of his bride-like people. Then, when we look at the cross, we see the great Bridegroom giving everything for his bride. And our hearts are filled with comfort, joy and wonder. So: look at Christ. Look at the cross. And be saved. Change the way you think about God. And find joy. Whereas the cross is foolishness to the world, for those who have come to see and believe, it is the source of eternal life.
Pastor Jos Slager