We often sing of the wonderful beautiful cross. And because our mind cannot handle the intensity or cruelty of the cross we grow numb to the brutality of the cross. Yet, we have to remember the cross was torture leading to death. Jesus experienced pain at the highest levels of the human experience.
The cross was not just some uncomfortable experience, like the awkwardness of telling a stranger on the plain you’re a Christian, or the embarrassment of getting to front of the line at the grocery store with a cart full of items and realizing you forgot your wallet.
Jesus died on the cross. He bled, and breathed his last breath on the cross.
When we sing of the cross it should be in the sober reality of what happened, why it happened, who it was that died for us.
The cross is the anchor point of our faith, not some pithy poppy featurette of the Sunday lineup. Our God died at the hands of his creation; the creation he loved and formed. Our God suffered and was humiliated by the very people he gave life to.
The cross is not wonderful, it the shame of humanity, and the glory of God. The cross does not represent the best in man, but the worst. The cross is the premiere exhibit in our museum of disgrace.
I understand why people wish to forget the cross, and down play its reality. As a humanitarian why would I want to highlight the cross any more than I would want to highlight the holocaust as an act of human civility and love?
All one should do at the cross is fall down before it and cry out, “I will never deny you again. With my heart and with my actions I too crucified you, but never again. I will serve the King whom I killed. He will be my God.”