We have entered the season of Advent and we wait with growing expectation to celebrate the birth of our savior. But in the midst of the present buying and carol singing I am struck by the amount of reflection I am doing on the Cross of Christ.
Whether in texts for school or small group conversations I am drawn to dwell on the significance of the Cross where Jesus finally covered us in redemption and forgiveness. The Cross however was not a clean exercise in death. It was devastatingly gruesome and disturbing. Other do a much better job at fully describing crucifixion and the agony it would entail. We even have the modern word ‘excruciating’ which was created to describe the pain.
It was gory and despicable. There must be a reason Christ came at that point in history and experienced what he did. If he had come today, would he have been “lethally injected” and succumbed to this “humane” form of execution? How would we respond to Christ’s death had it been “easy” in light of the fact that we are the ones that deserved to die?
The gruesome nature of the Cross has me realizing what I deserve. Because of sin I am the one that deserves to be tortured and maimed. I deserve humiliation and condemnation. I deserve the suffocation from my own weight and shame. But I don’t face this death because God himself stood in my place, and yours, to atone for our prideful turning from our creator.
The weight of the Cross is hanging in the air like a fresh winter snow for me. Just as the snow covers the ground in purity, Christ’s blood covers me in grace and righteousness. Because of the Cross I am availed to relationship with the one that hold the realms of life and death, earth and universe. May the weight of the Cross draw me further to repentance and belief in Jesus.
Without the birth there is no Cross, and without the Cross there is no (re)birth. Let us be about the anticipation of Christmas and the realization of the Cross.