The cross

A while ago, a friend told me he could not believe that our Father God would be so cruel as to send Jesus to the cross to die for us.

Yet, it is interesting that he also does not believe God can forgive him for the bad things he has done in his life.

Where does that leave him?  It leaves him without hope.

The cross has been a stumbling stone for many people since the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.

I think that may be partly due to the way we look at our relationship with God.

Do we believe that there is a vast gulf between us and God?  If so, do we believe that God wants to bridge that gap and bring us into his family?  Or, do we believe that he doesn’t really care about us at all?

I believe the Bible when it says God cares.  He cares so much that he actively pursued us by sending Jesus to the cross so that he took our sins on himself, dying for us.  But Jesus conquered death by rising again and bringing believers to life with him – everlasting life.

So, is my friend right in saying it was cruel of the Father to have Jesus crucified for us?

I believe it hurt the Father deeply, but he knew that the result would be Jesus restored to life along with billions more brothers and sisters of Christ.  We who accept Jesus’ sacrifice and put our faith in him are Jesus’ family.  We will rejoice with him in heaven.

My friend was right in believing his sins are too great to enter God’s family – if left to his own efforts.  None of us is good enough to be with God.  We are too selfish – our tendency to sin is built into our characters.

But when Jesus took our place and shouldered our sins on the cross, he opened the way for us to join the family of God.

By ourselves, we are unworthy.  But when we accept Jesus’ sacrifice for us, God sees Jesus’ worthiness when he looks at us.

My hope and prayer is that my friend will see the real meaning of the cross.  Then he, too, will be filled with gratitude for what Jesus did.

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