The older I get, the more serious the gravity and weight of the cross of Christ becomes. This year especially, going through an in-depth Bible study of John, I see Jesus’ singular focused mission to do His Father’s work and will, which was dying the most gruesome death to redeem sinners such as I. As I was processing Pilate’s interrogations of the truth standing right before him (Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”~John 14:6) and his rejection of the truth (“What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him.”~John 18:38), of the crowds and religious leaders mocking and condemning Jesus innocently to his death (“As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”~John 19:6), of Mary, Jesus’ mother, at the cross watching her son die (John 19:25-27)…these images and the price of my sin are in stark contrast to the commercials I’ve seen of kids engaging in an egg hunt, of new Easter outfits, of the Easter bunny and candy. How do I raise my son in a culture so counter-cultural to Christ? How do I teach him that Easter is not about bunnies and egg hunts and egg coloring and candy and Easter outfits? How do I teach my almost two year old that he is a little sinner who is so beloved by God that He sent His only son into the world to save him? (John 3:16) How much does a toddler understand of his own sin, when adults struggle to see or admit their own? Certainly I see it…his failure to listen and obey, his frustration in not getting his own way, his ferocious selfishness not to share. But I see those failures in me and in adults too. Sin is not just doing wrong, but failing to do what is right. Sin has become such a bad word and concept in our culture today. People view themselves as good when sin says you’ve “transgressed against the law of God.” (1 John 3:4). People ask how a good loving God could send people to hell when “the wages of sin is death, BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ!” (Romans 6:23). You can choose to receive Jesus or reject Him, but you must choose. Like Pilate did. Like the mob did. Never underestimate the depravity of human hearts. We may think we would never condemn an innocent man to death. But yet we did. Our sin condemned Jesus to death, otherwise why did He have to die? He was the only sinless sacrifice that could pay for sin. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”~2 Corinthians 5:21. “Again and again the priest offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest (Christ) had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God-for by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”~Hebrews 10:11-14.
Never have I been more aware of my own sin as when I study the Scriptures and see the cost of it in Jesus’s death on the cross. Never am I more convicted of it when facing my spouse who sees my weaknesses and imperfections every day. Never am I more confronted with it when contemplating my son’s sin nature at a mere 20 months old. And never am I more grateful for Christ’s obedience and submission to His Father’s will for Him to die so that I can live free of my sin.
- “Christ Jesus made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”~Philippians 2:7-8.
- “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”~Isaiah 53:5