“But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.” – Isaiah 53:10 (NIV)
The cross has become an icon. It’s everywhere, on everything. It’s on steeple tops, on book covers, on ornaments, jewelry, and clothes. The cross is omnipresent in our culture, but do we truly grasp the power and implications of the cross? Chances are that we don’t and that is to be expected. How can we get our mind around what Jesus had so generously done for a wretch like me so I could experience His grace, love and mercy?
It is not surprising that I am awed by the cross and at the same time surprised by how much of the cross I don’t understand. There is a line in the song “Here I am to Worship,” written by Tim Hughes where it says, “I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross.” Yes, we know Jesus is our Redeemer, but do we truly know the magnitude of the cost? I don’t think we can even ever come up with a figure or currency to match that price, and that price was paid for you and for me. Could you or I give up our only son for the sake of others? The answer is probably no.
Isaiah 53:10 reminds us that “it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief.…his life is made an offering for sin …” That’s right: God the Father wanted “crush him and cause him to suffer,” (NIV) Not only was God the Father willing to crush His Son, the Son was also willing to be crushed. Why? Because the atoning death of His Son would bring salvation to His children. Our staggering debt of sin was paid on that cross. That means salvation to you and to me and to all who know Him as Savior and Lord.
Philip Yancey said, “Love was compressed for all history in that lonely figure on the cross, who said that he could call down angels at any moment on a rescue mission, but chose not to – because of us. At Calvary, God accepted his own unbreakable terms of justice.”
So understanding the cross fully is close to impossible, but if that’s making you worry, don’t. It’s just meant to show how an indescribable God lavished an indescribable love on us by hanging Himself upon a cross so that we would be set free.
Fortunately, as we know, that is not the end of the story. There’s so much more.
- What is the hardest part of the cross for you to understand? Why?
- What can we do this week to better understand and appreciate the significance of the cross?