Friday, March 21, 2008

A Glorious Intersection

As Christians, we know and we praise God that on a Friday like this almost 2,000 years ago, our Savior – the God Man Messiah, Jesus Christ of Nazareth – was cruelly beaten, tortured, mocked, humiliated, and died. He died the death of a criminal as an innocent man so that as a criminal, I could be treated as an innocent man.

So many blessed and glorious things that intersect with one another come to mind whenever I think about the cross: justice and mercy, wrath and grace, condemnation and pardon, love and hatred, death and life. One of the things that brought this to mind, of late, was an evangelistic talk by Louis Giglio. In it, Giglio attempted to give his audience some perspective as to how big God is by putting the earth in perspective with some of the known universe. According to Giglio, if the earth were the size of a golf ball, then the biggest star that we are currently aware of, Canis Majoris, would be comparable to the size of Mt. Everest.1 His point was that sin tends to puff us up and make us feel important and powerful, but simply putting our earth in its proper place in the created (known) cosmos, as far as its relative size, should dissuade us from that type of haughtiness.

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host. (Psalms 33:6)

It was Christ Jesus who called all things into being by the power of His Word. But it was this same star-breathing God who humbled Himself even to death on the cross. So what could be grander than the glorious intersection of supreme authoritative and unstoppable power with abject torture and mockery?

The glorious restraint of our God is evident in many places, but perhaps nowhere is it more poignant than when our naked Christ was hit, spat upon, whipped, and mocked. Yet, the same restraining power and grace of God that was displayed during the construction of the ark was present again on the day of the cross. Christ would not have had to call for legions of angels to come to His aid; He simply needed to decide to destroy His torturers and they would have been utterly consumed. But it was because of His glorious restraint, for the joy set before Him, that He endured the cross to justify many (cf. Isaiah 53). That God Himself would endure vile torture by His own creation for the glory of God is simply amazing. It is equally amazing that, as a result of His obedience, death, and subsequent total victory, He also accomplished the redemption of men. Soli Deo Gloria.

But thanks be to God that that’s not the end of the story…

1 There is some dispute in the scientific community as to the size of this star. Some estimates make it 1/3 or the size that puts it in this proportion, and I am not nearly knowledgeable to venture a discerning opinion one way or the other.

No comments:

Copyright © 2005-2010 Eric Johnson