Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Ugliness of the Cross

It’s interesting how we view the cross as something pretty to hang on the wall. I mean every church that I’ve ever walked into had at least one on the wall if not in their main sanctuary. And I don’t find that strange because I think it should be there to remind us of the cost of our sin. What our sins cost Jesus Christ. You see what I don’t understand is why the cross is decorated so nicely. It was ugly.

It was Easter this past weekend and crosses everywhere were nice and pristine with purple fabric draped so delicately around the cross beam. On the original Easter weekend the cross didn’t look like that. In fact the only thing close to purple on the dogwood that day was Jesus’ blood flowing from his open wounds. I could not imagine my body nailed to a tree my bare back rubbing against the wood, which unlike the crosses we see on the walls at church and in homes, were probably not sanded and lacquered to give it a shiny coat. No, more than likely it was rough, scraping off every scab that formed from the previous whippings that He took. The cross is not beautiful; it is ugly. It is to remind us of what our sin did to Christ…it killed him, and to remind us what our sin deserves…death. Not a quick, pretty, clean death, but one that is so unbearable and excruciating. I can’t imagine that. And I don’t want to. It is ugly.

No the only thing beautiful about the cross that Friday morning was that Christ’s love for us was far greater than His love for Himself. The beauty of the cross is that He took our place.

The cross killed Jesus; He cursed himself by hanging on that tree, so that you and me could stand righteous before our Lord. It was only three days later that He resurrected powerfully from the grave defeating death and giving us, who believe in Him, eternal life. That is the beauty. That even though our savior died the grave could not hold Him. The beauty is Christ. 

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