Bloody Reality Of The Cross
By Patrick Badstibner
For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:7-8 ESV)
There lay on the cross, the most sinful, despised, rejected, man who had ever lived. That day on Golgotha one man would bear the claim for more sin than any man had, who has come before or after. That man’s name was Jesus.
How can that be, Jesus was the most perfect man who ever lived? He was, till that fateful bloody day. On, that day he took on all the sins of every man, woman and child who had ever lived, and in effect the perfect man became the most sinful man, completely deserving of God’s wrath man.
As a result, in effect, becoming the most bloodied, beaten, heart broken, man who had ever lived. In doing so Christ became, willingly, the perfect substitutionary lamb for all mankind
A white woolen lamb became utterly black, horrid, despicable, distasteful, so ugly and dirty that a Holy Father could no longer look upon Him. Not only could he not look upon Him, it was the only time and the last time that a man could truly say that God had completely deserted Him, because of His rampant ugliness, having left him no choice to escape His fate.
His death marked and established the darkest day in history. No man has ever known such a day in which all the lights went out, like this one. Because of this day, when the devil goes looking for a soul to steal, the quantity has greatly decreased for Him to choose from.
There has never been a darker day that has produced more Hope, than that day. Yet, this was not done for good people. NO! Quite the opposite, there has never been a good person that Christ ever died for. Which makes the fact that Christ who was the white woolen perfect lamb was willing to take on such blackness, such loneliness, such despair, such heartbreak so remarkable.
Surely any of us would take on hardship, heavy burdens, walk through dark nights with our friends, loved ones, but for someone who would spit in our faces. Who would more often than not continue even after receiving the gifts of our time and resources to attack us, by choosing to spend their time and focus on those who did not treat them with as much love, as we did. Could it not be said of any of us that we would surely scream, “don’t you remember what we did for you” angrily, in rage, wanting better responses.
The real love for the bride from the bridegroom is not seen in that His love compelled him to die for us, but that in knowing that we would continue even after receiving His free gift to desire those things that are less than HIM. In that, there is found love like no man has ever given, shown, or known.
YES, indeed as we live each day all of us who call ourselves followers of Christ will at some point say nah, “I really don’t think God loves me all that much,” which is ultimately what we say when we sin. All of us will say at some point, “I know better” or “this feels easier” and chose the created, over the One who sustains all of life by giving of His life.
There will never be a day in which we will not choose to try to save ourselves by our own efforts and as a result say, “that what Christ did was not enough.” There will never be a day in which we will not question God’s goodness, and as a result doubt His love, and thus decide we know better and choose to do it our way.
However, at this moment, on this day, if we stop a moment and focus hard enough we can hear the blood dripping, we can mentally see the anguish on the face, we can mentally see the sweat beginning to mix with the nails. Listen closely, if we dare, and we can hear the hecklers, we can even picture ourselves as one of the hecklers or one of those who ran for cover.
Then maybe today, at this moment, on this day, as we stand staring at this white lamb turned black we will choose to say, “thank you” not just in words. As we allow our imaginations to run with the freedom we now have in Christ, we will discover a love like none and that love will compel us to scream Father, never let me forget.
Never let me forget the reality of the cross, the reality of your love, the reality of the blood you shed, the reality of the pain you endured so that instead of a black garment I might wear a white robe. Never let me forget, that you loved me when I did not deserve it and continue to love me, even when I still continue to not deserve it. Help me always to remember, you will never love me any less than you did on that dark day, in which you loved me so much you deserted your son, so that I might be able to experience that love.