Why I Love the Cross

6 Apr

Nothing you read on this blog today can ever compare to reading the actual account of Jesus’ death on the cross.  I really encourage you to stop and take some time to read John 19 which outlines the sentencing of Jesus to death, his crucifixion, and his burial. Read it slowly, as though for the first time. May the story grip our hearts anew, filling us with wonder and awe at the incomparable price paid by our Lord Jesus Christ.

I hope you will allow me to take time today to reflect on some of the reasons why I love the cross. May it encourage you to also reflect on the meaning of the cross and the impact that it has had on your own life.

As a child I had a very guilty conscience.  I felt guilty for things that I did wrong, and the things that I thought I may have done wrong by accident. I was painfully aware that sin was serious, and I had this secret fear that if people found out what a sinner I was that they wouldn’t love me anymore.

As I grew older my feelings of guilt intensified, and I began to develop methods to cope with the heavy weight of my sins. I tried everything. I would tell myself it wasn’t that bad and to just get over it. When that didn’t work I’d try to be really good – that would only last a few days. I would punish myself by giving up things that I loved, but eventually I found I was running out of things to give up. I even tried making promises to God to atone for my sins. Nothing worked. In fact, the more I tried to relieve my guilt, the more unworthy and inadequate I felt. All of my efforts remind me of the words that God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah:

“Although you wash yourself with soap and use an abundance of cleansing powder,

   the stain of your guilt is still before me,” declares the Sovereign LORD.“ Jeremiah 2:22

The world has its own repertoire of “tactics” to deal with feelings of guilt. In fact if you google “how to deal with guilt” you’ll be amazed at some of the empty suggestions you will find. Here are just a few:

  • “Find a color to inspire your guilt-free existence: red for energy to combat guilt, green to heal from your guilty emotions, blue to spiritually soar above them, orange to cheerfully express yourself, yellow to use your intellect to reason your guilt away. Wear this color daily (doesn’t have to be anything big, even a ribbon is fine) and put it in your personal space to remind you.” (Dr. Debbie Mandell  http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28129.asp)
  • “The first step in overcoming guilt is seeing what value have you violated, and find a way to convince your subconscious mind that you wont do this again.” (www.2knowmyself.com)
  • “The best antidote to feelings of guilt is to focus on the good things we are now doing. Whatever has happened in the past, there is always some positive contribution that anyone can start making now. If we throw ourselves into helpful, selfless activities, how can we retain feelings of guilt?” (Tejvan Pettinger     http://www.srichinmoybio.co.uk/blog/life/overcoming-persistent-guilt/)

All of these strategies have one thing in common. They are useless. They will never atone for sin, and they will never cleanse the conscience.

And Here is What I Love About The Cross

My battle with sin and guilt ultimately led me to the cross. The message of the cross did not say “don’t worry, at least you tried, make up for it next time.” On the contrary, it declares the terrible news that yes indeed I am a sinner. My guilt is not just a feeling, but a reality. But more than that the cross declares that the guilt of all those who would turn to Christ has been atoned for. Forgiveness is available, and I can be freed from my guilty standing before God.  I finally came to understand the Good News for what it is –  reeeeally good news for a reeeeally needy soul. I understood that “God demonstrates His own love for us in this, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:7

I love the cross of Christ because it provides sufficient payment for my sins… no other atonement or punishment is needed. I love the cross because it brings me forgiveness from a Holy God. I love the cross because it separates me from the guilt that plagues my soul and brings me peace with God. I love the cross because it saves my soul.

This is Good Good news. And this is why it truly is Good Friday.

23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,”[a] but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. 1 Peter 2:23-24

One Response to “Why I Love the Cross”

  1. staceyscm April 6, 2012 at 12:03 PM #

    Thanks so much for this, Dina! It is so amazing that we can have all of our guilt removed because of what Jesus accomplished on that cross.

    I was just watching this show last night and many of the characters were on this quest to find a way to assuage their guilty consciences, for the wrongs they had done. I know it’s just a show, but it’s definitely a reflection of what many people struggle with, and I found myself just wanting to shout at the TV screen, that Jesus is the answer…there is a way to be free! Free from their guilty consciences, and free from their actual guilty standing before a Holy God. Yes! That is Good News!

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