How do I write about the cross? How do I write about a God whose love for us is so personal, so intimate, that He would come to this dusty earth and walk among us? And not only to come to earth but to come disguised as someone so ordinary.... a builder, a worker, a man without wealth or acclaim. Jesus, seeking out relationships, spending time connecting intentionally with people who need him, with people who didn't seem important to anyone else. Him, God Almighty, in human skin, serving flawed, needy, hurting people...
How can the God of heaven and earth, Creator of the universe, One with no beginning and no end possibly be willing to leave the splendor of heaven to walk unnoticed for years on this hurting, broken planet?
It's because He desires a relationship with us. This always blows my mind.
Our sin, our shortcomings, our flaws - all of this makes it impossible for us to stand in His presence. This God Almighty chose to wash us in His own blood - the blood of Jesus, God as man, His Son. Every single bit of flesh torn from the body of Jesus on the day He was crucified should have been my flesh. Every time the whip landed on His back, it should have been me. Every bit of shame and indignity and torture my Lord Jesus endured was rightfully mine. And because He longs to be in relationship with me, He chose to die for me. And you.
This blood shed, this sacrifice offered up to God the day the sky split and the darkness covered earth, this is for us. This is our gift of love from God's own heart, so we can call Him Father. So we can let go of shame we've earned the weight of carrying, and instead we can carry hearts filled with peace and love and grace. So we can have eternal life. Because God desperately wants us to spend eternity in His presence. Because He treasures us... us with all our faults and weakness and fears... us with all the questions and pride and years we've spent living life as though there is no God at all... us, made in the image of God, formed in the womb by His great design, knit together by Him and set apart by Him and able to do all things through Him.
Us, whose names are engraved on His hands.
This cross. This Savior's side pierced, spilling blood and water. This conquering of the grave. This freedom from the grip of sin. This unearned gift of grace and forgiveness and relationship. This washing white as snow. This eternal life in heaven and abundant life on earth.
This is for us.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16