The message of the cross is far and away the most offensive message humanity will ever hear. It offends us to the very core of our being.
We want something palatable, friendly. Inoffensive.
Surely any God who would do something as awful as punish an innocent man for the crimes of another is a fabrication.
Such a God is nothing less than a moral monster, the perpetrator of divine child abuse, some claim.
And yet, this is the testimony of Scripture:
For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:23-24).
Paul calls the cross a stumbling block to those enamored with power and worldly wisdom. It is “folly to those who are perishing,” he writes, “but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Cor. 1:18).
Is it any wonder, then, that so many—even professing Christians—balk at Christ’s death on the cross?
Did it have to be this way?
The question we must answer in looking at the events of Jesus’ death is a relatively simple one:
Did it really have to be this way? Did Jesus really have to die on the cross in order for God to forgive us?
Yes, it really did have to be this way.
That’s not a popular thing to say, but it’s true. As I briefly explained in yesterday’s post, throughout history the events of Jesus’ death and resurrection were hinted at and foreshadowed.
Even if we do acknowledge that there’s something wrong with humanity, God could make things right without having to kill Jesus, or so we’d like to think. If nothing is impossible for Him, then surely He could forgive us easily enough.
And if He doesn’t, then He’s being supremely unloving, isn’t He? [Read more…]