I’m not one to accept things easily. God has wired me to want to know why, to truly understand. This quality has often proven to challenge my faith, which requires us to simply trust whether we understand or not. But because God has shown His unfailing love and graciousness to me time and time again, my questions have come to matter less and less. Interestingly, the less I feel the *need* to know the answers, the more He has revealed them to me. The answers come not in seeking knowledge itself, but in seeking its Source (in knowing God).
I used to wonder why God had to go to such great extremes to save the world. Why the brutality of the cross? Why the suffering? Why not just forgive and restore us as effortlessly as He created us? I used to picture the body of Christ, broken and bloody on the cross and cringe… “I did that to Him. My sin. My fault.” If that were the end of the story, it might make sense to wallow in guilt. But that wasn’t it by a long shot. 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us that Jesus, the perfect lamb who knew no sin, supernaturally became sin. Picture the Roman guard driving the stakes straight through your sin, piercing it, canceling the record. It is finished. Jesus not only overcame sin, but death as well, so that in Him we might become not only right with God, but “the righteousness of God.”
I’m not meaning to deny God’s tremendous sacrifice, but seeing the crucifixion in this light has meant two things to me: 1. I get to put in another piece of the puzzle explaining why Jesus had to die, and 2. If I get stuck in a rut of self-condemnation, I can envision whatever I’m feeling guilty about nailed to the cross. It is finished. Over. Done with. Gone. Kaput. He didn’t die that we might wallow, but that we might live!