Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
Holy Week Reflections with David Shibley (Day 1)
Why do Christians make such an emphasis on the Cross?
Almost every religion has high regard for Jesus. But whether or not He is the one and only redeemer -- or if humans even need a redeemer -- is where biblical Christianity parts company with every other faith.
The Cross of Jesus Christ is the central abrasive issue. Other religions leave no room for a chosen Savior who experiences the full weight of the world's transgressions. By contrast, this cross -- this sacrifice -- that is so repugnant to others is attractive and precious to us who believe. It is at the same time the ultimate tragedy and the ultimate triumph. As Ravi Zacharias observes, "This is the moment toward which all of history had been moving, and by which history would be forever defined."
Those who wish to escape Jesus and His Cross find He is too colossal to evade. Whether or not people believe in Him, they are compelled to deal with Him. Our rebellion against God and His rule was dealt with at the Cross. God has always been angry at rebellion -- at sin -- because He knows defiance against His loving rulre spells destruction, dismay, and death. So God poured out His wrath against sin. That wrath should have fallen on me -- and on you. Instead God poured out His fury against sin on His Son. "This is real love -- not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins" (1 John 4:10, NLT). That sacrifice happened on the cross.
It is this towering God in flesh who magnetically elicits our worship. How can we begin to describe the majesty of Jesus? He's the poet's greatest theme, the composer's sweetest music, the sinner's dearest friend. To the weary, He is wonderful; to the confused, counselor; to the weak, He is mighty God, to the orphaned, everlasting Father, to the distressed, Prince of Peace. In His life, He is humanity's only perfection; in His death, humanity's only Savior; in His resurrection, humanity's only hope.
"King of my life, I crown Thee now
Thine shall the glory be
Lest I forget Thy thorn-crowned brow
Lead me to Calvary
Lest I forget Gethsemane
Lest I forget Thine agony
Lest I forget Thy love for me
Lead me to Calvary."
(Jennie E. Hussey)
It's time tor reflect: Jesus died for you. It's time to rejoice: Jesus defeated death.
And it's also time to share this Good News! I encourage you to share these Reflections. Also, you can access Holy Week Reflectionsthese as a podcast at www.informedradio.org.
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