Bob says it often – that we should try to sanitize the scripture – and yet we do, in our readings, and interpretation of events. But how about in the realism of Christ, upon His shoulders, taking all our sin, and God’s wrath/anger.
If you read through the Old Testament – you’re barraged by the rules and laws that God setup for His people to follow. A friend of mine recently asked – “What in the world with all the laws . . . ” and the reality is that the punishment for breaking the laws and rules was severe – and oftentimes deadly.
And to redeem us – Christ took the pain, and the wrath, and God’s anger, in order that when He sees us – He sees Christ – and His righteousness.
I grew up Catholic . . . they’re big with crucifixes in the Catholic church – you’ll be hard pressed to find a cross that doesn’t still have Christ on it – and yet it was in His resurrection that our ultimate hope lies. These crucifixes, however, always portray Christ as simply hanging on the cross – looking fairly healthy . . . not smiling – but certainly not “in pain.”
We’ve got a cross that hangs above our stage . . . i think it weighs about 400 pounds. It’s heavy. When we have to hang it, or take it down and move it – it takes a couple of us just to move it – and yet, it’s life-size, and probably similar to the one Christ hung on and carried after being beaten within an inch of his life. I’m a pretty big guy – fairly strong, and it takes a couple of us to move it from one side of the stage to the other.
I wonder what it takes for us to really wrap our minds around the horror, agony, and pain of that day . . .