Friday, February 10, 2017

"The Love of Christ"

In the Roman Empire, the crudest form of capital punishment was the crucifixion. It was reserved for murderers, slaves that revolted, and other heinous crimes. Roman citizens were beheaded for crimes but not crucified. Jews shared the Roman revulsion to crucifixion.

Jesus, the son of God, was crucified. Even nature convulsed at that. You remember, the ground shook, the rocks cracked open, and the sky went black. It was as if an arrow pierced the heart of hope. The derision of the crowd must have been deafening, “He saved others. Now let’s see him save himself.”

C.S. Lewis said, “The crucifixion did not become common in art until all who had seen a real one died off.”

Instead of making a spectacle of relief, Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  Was that a prayer for himself?  No. It was a prayer for all abusers, doubters, mockers and persecutors. It covers us to this day. In that moment on Calvary, the balance of power shifted because of this one that absorbed all evil, past, present and future.

The love of Christ does not neglect sin nor merely condemns it, but finds redemption for it.  Corinthians 5:19 has it, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.”

That suggests to me that Christ dealt with all those hurts you don’t deserve.


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