Part 2 in a series of posts by Chuck H
The Meaning of the Cross for God the Father- hope and rescue
In his highly acclaimed book, The Gulag Archipeliago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn highlights the plight of humanity. And it is in complete agreement with the Word of God. He writes, “If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
The Apostle Paul put it this way in Romans 5:12 “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all humanity, because all sinned.”
Note these truths from this verse about the nature and plight of humanity. Firstly, all of humanity is sinful, no one is exempt save Jesus. And secondly, the consequences for sin is death.
Death is a separation. Physically we die because of sin. The body will separate from the soul at death. The body to decay. The soul into eternal life or eternal death. Spiritually we have died because of sin, we are separated from the life of God and alienated from him. One of the temporal consequences of sin is that we will all physically die. The eternal consequence of sin is an eternity in hell away from the love, life and presence of God.
The Apostle illustrated these truths in Ephesians 2:1-3. He writes, “You were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you used to live…gratifying the cravings of the sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. We were objects receiving the wrath of God.”
History is filled with tragedy on the sea. Hundreds, thousands of ships and sailors have come to their end through violent storms. They were engulfed in monstrous waves. The ship brakes up and falls to the bottom of the sea. Often, all aboard went to a watery grave, none survived. They were helpless in the wake of the storm in spite of their prowess at sailing, and in spite of their skills.
Spiritually, everyone is born into a raging sea of sin engulfed by its waves. Our destruction is sure. There is no hope we can find in ourselves. We are utterly powerless. Our only hope is help from outside. And that’s the good news of our faith. God our Heavenly Father is not content to leave us in this plight. His deep love moved him to provide a way out of our helpless situation. He reaches into the timeline of humanity and through the cross he provides the only way and the only hope we have to correct this uncorrectable plight.
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8
For God the Father, the Cross means the rescue and hope out of spiritual and eternal death. The next time you see a cross somewhere, stop, ponder, remind yourself of what it represents. The compassion of our Heavenly Father to rescue us because we cannot rescue ourselves from the impact and penalty of our sin. And then offer your heart to Jesus, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18