Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Behold the Lamb

Here it comes again, a teaching and an exhortation concerning the cross. Is it redundant and unexciting to your heart? Has it become boring and just a foundational doctrine? Or is it alive with resurrected redemption which cannot but stir your soul to take flight again and soar above all that you know or can know? The cross is that one place where the Creator pulled back the curtain and human eyes were invited to behold their Creator and human hearts were invited to embrace the God who is love, and ever shall be. The cross whispers and screams; it preaches and teaches; and it reveals and hides the glory of Almighty God.

When we say “the cross” we are using that word as all inclusive of the divine revelation and act of redemption and all that the event itself affects eternally. This is no shallow sentimentality or some religious talisman, this cross is the unique, defining moment in history that in the space of six hours blasted open a door in hell and bid all who were headed there to “come and live”. And this cross was not just a metaphor for self sacrifice, no, this excruciating and writhing death was the material redemption that paid for our sins through the sin of murder.

Even the word “mystery” seems embarrassingly inadequate when describing the totality of what happened at the cross. Like an ant being asked to understand physics, we sinners have been granted a level of understanding that must shake us to our core. God has died for His created rebels.

There can be no more loftier thought than that. Just the concept of God Himself is higher than our pitiful serotonin can grasp, to say nothing of God dying, to say infinitely nothing of God dying for sinners like us. And yet on that prophesied cross hung God; and the Scriptures say that in Jesus lived all the fullness of the Godhead. Did you understand what the Spirit through the Apostle Paul just said? The Spirit said that He, the Father, and Jesus were present in ALL THEIR FULNESS in the God-man named Jesus.

It is sacrilege to receive such news without a spiritual tremor reverberating through our inner man. You see, on that cross was something colossal and personal, strong and yet weak, death and yet life. The Deity who has revealed Himself to sinful man was in a physical form and willingly acquiesced to the shame and horror of death, even the death of that cross. And the same Godhead who was there, recorded His shameful victory through the pens of those for whom He died. The mystery has unraveled and has escaped our mental boundaries.

Of course this cross is revised, downplayed, and even rejected in these modern times, as well as throughout history. Who desires a god that could not defend himself? Who would worship a god who could be murdered at the hands of Roman soldiers? Who would embrace a battered and bloodied corpse, publicly ridiculed for all to see, and whose throne was filled with blood, sweat, and death? This cross was an altar, and upon this altar was the most profound paradox one could imagine. For on that cross, before everyone’s eyes, redemption for all ages was being cached.

Many men rush to serve and help others, while many others only care about themselves. But in the midst of both situations stands the cross. You see, the cross is complete in redemption and has need of no helpful acts of men. It surely is desirable for men to help each other, however no amount of human philanthropy can ever add one ounce of redemptive weight to the finished work on the cross. The cross rises in its pristine and plenary glory, in need of no human nurturance, yet it passionately beckons to every sinner to “Come!”.

This faith we profess must be anchored in Jesus Christ, and the cross must be our banner. The resurrection reveals Who was on that cross and substantiates His claims, but without the cross there would be no resurrection. The blood of that cross funnels down and provides the power in that coming resurrection. All power was in the hand of God’s Son and He was willing to use it for us. This is no finer point of doctrine, this is the gospel!

And in
wounds so even while we worship the Lamb of God
we cannot forget that wondrous cross. May God
strike our
dumb and
our eyes
blind if
we were
to ever
forget that
It is our life – forever.

1 comment:

Onesimus said...

Just to let you know I've included a link to this article on my blog.