A friend said this to me a long time ago:
I don’t understand the cross. In all honesty, I don’t get it. Hundreds of men were crucified on Roman crosses and I know it was a horrific, agonizing way to die. What was different about Jesus on the cross?
I admit I’d had the exact same thoughts. I wonder how many of us to this day have perplexing moments understanding the cross.
First, may I humbly say: We cannot fully understand the cross. Ever. I believe there’s a part that belongs solely to the Godhead and the fullness of the cross will always be just outside human grasp. However, Scripture gives us just enough – enough to believe.
We know that at one point during the hours Jesus was on the cross darkness covered the land. For three hours, from noon until three o’clock, the world went dark and the cross became silent. It was a supernatural darkness we know nothing of, so deep, so profound, that no person could view God’s Son as He carried sin, as he bore man’s sin in his body, as Jesus drank the full cup of God’s wrath.
But here’s the undeniable truth penned by Paul to the Corinthians. One verse that changes everything.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. II Corinthians 5: 21
Yes, Jesus carried sin. And now we know that he became sin.
Carried and became mean different things to me.
All the sin we hate in ourselves, all the sin we cannot escape, all the sin we can’t bring ourselves to admit or even think about, all the sin that horrifies us – he became that. His every cell became sin. That is what he withstood on the cross so that one day you and I can go to that cross in our minds’ eye and take our sin and give it to him. What else are we going to do with it?
Jesus died with our sin and rose without it. When we make that transaction with him at the cross, it’s the greatest exchange we will ever make. My sin for his righteousness – simply unbelievable. Except it is believable because it is truth. It is the glory of the cross.
Question: Where else can we go with our sin?
Prayer: Dear Jesus, Forgive me for holding the cross at arm’s length, for not understanding or wanting to understand what you did for me that day. Do you want my sin? Let me bend and break in order to give it to you. It is too much for me to bear. I wan to make that great exchange with you – my sin for your righteousness. Help me believe and please give me assurance and peace. Amen.
The Story of Darkness at the Cross: Matthew 27: 45-50; Mark 15: 33-37; Luke 23: 44-46; John 19: 28-30