THE BEAUTY OF THE CROSS

Is.53:10 – Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.

The most beautiful of all images in our world, ironically, is found in one that could be considered as the most grotesque. Roman crucifixion, it conjures pictures in our minds of the most intense suffering imaginable and vividly displays man’s inhumanity to man. Think about it; soldiers beating an innocent man with a Roman scourge to the brink of death. Then there is the taunting and mocking, spitting and cursing hurled at the Lord. Bloodied and humiliated, how can this picture be described as the most beautiful of all? My answer is this, the creator entered His-creation as a man with one thought in mind. He came to redeem us, to love us in our unlovely condition. He even loved His executioners as He prayed for their forgiveness. The ugliness of our sins were purged by the beauty of His blood. Christ died to save sinners. Here is Belden Lane describing the beauty of the cross from Jonathan Edwards’ perspective.

“For Edwards, the highest expression of God’s glory revealed in creation is witnessed in the God-become-Creature who died on Golgotha. In the humiliation of Christ we find the greatest consent of the creation to its Maker. The Creator becomes in this moment the lowest of all creatures on earth. The power of consent, the unity of being, the persuasiveness of the senses, the centrality of embodiment to the apprehension of God’s glory—all these are discovered here at the cross.

Edwards echoed Calvin and Augustine before him in affirming that God is beautiful, not only in the loveliness of the earth, but even “beautiful on the cross.” Obviously it is a long stretch, by any reach of the imagination, to discern beauty in the midst of pain. But once again it is the “new sense” imparted by God’s spirit that makes this discernment possible.”

So can you see it? Can you see the beauty of the cross? When the cross becomes personal, when its your sins dealt with at Calvary, all you can proclaim is “Beautiful, beautiful!”. The precious blood of Jesus is beautiful to me.

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