Friday, April 15, 2011

The Way of the Cross (33)

Behold the man upon the cross, and what do you see? For many, as they think of Jesus on the cross, they see a tragic ending to an interesting life. Jesus, the teacher, cut short because he was offending people.

Others may think of Jesus as being under the curse. That's how some of those watching that day were thinking - if God wants him, let God save him. After all, he's dying the death of a criminal - and there's no smoke without fire.

But when we become a Christian, our perspective on the cross changes, so that we can echo the words written so long before the cross, in the prophecy of Isaiah 53. That death, that agony, wasn't purposeless - it was for us; for me. In a wonderful way explained only by penal substitution, Jesus is dying in our place, for our sins, for our healing.

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned - every one - to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
(Isaiah 53:4-6)

Ours is the guilt, his the righteousness.

Ours is the sin, his the remedy.

Ours is the death, his the rescue.

As Paul would later write, 'the Son of God, who loved ME and gave himself for ME. (Galatians 2:20, emphasis added).

As we journey towards the cross, may we never forget the reason Christ died - for us, for me, for you. How marvellous, how wonderful is my Saviour's love for me.

1 comment :

  1. Did you happen to take a look at the Biblical term "atonement"? If so, how do you reconcile that research with penal substitutionary atonement? Here is an article where the Biblical term "atonement" is examined but the results point definitively away from Penal Substitution.