The Revealing Cross

Colossians 1:20

The story of the cross hardly needs repetition. Read it once more in any one of the Gospels. Never were words used with such economy and force. Ponder prayerfully the succession of bitter events.

As we ponder, we must beware of feeling no more than pity, a reaction that Jesus Himself discounted. “Weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children” (Luke 23:28). His wounds are not His main appeal to us, for His sorrow was more than physical pain. His great agony was the knowledge of what men were, the realization of how deeply sin was entrenched in human hearts, sin from which He had come to save them.

The cross reveals the power of the love of God that cannot be shattered, because it is indestructible. It reveals the power of the holiness of God by revealing the way our sins—everyday sins that crucified Christ—appear in His sight. It reveals the power of the mercy of God, for by means of the cross He pledges His forgiveness to all who truly repent.

But why was such an extremity of shame necessary to divine revelation and redemption? Simply because God is love, and love knows no limits. Jesus understood what God was like, and His knowledge enabled him to face “even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8 KJV).

The cross was a parable in flesh and blood. The truth which Jesus had sought to convey by His life, teaching and work, He confirmed by His death. Mere words could not describe God, and even if they could, they would have been open to misunderstanding and misinterpretation, for they lack compelling power. If words had been equal to the task, a book could have saved mankind.

The truth about God had to be demonstrated unmistakably. His love had to be put beyond all shadow of doubt. So the cross speaks the unutterable truth. We need always to remember that what the cross reveals is eternally true about God.

The moral victory of Christ’s way of love stands before us as the ideal which must become established in the real. In the presence of His utter self-giving can we not find the courage to follow? Dare we pray to be stripped of all false values and for grace to welcome the cross into the center of our lives?

Harry Dean, Power and Glory

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